Ailing Robert Mugabe under siege, his regime in panic

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters gathered to celebrate his 92nd birthday in Masvingo February 27, 2016. Picture taken February 27, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

President Robert Mugabe’s government will face one of its biggest tests in over six months when civil servants go on strike tomorrow demanding their 2016 bonuses.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

In sign that the government was panicking over the impending strike, Public Service and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira resorted to threatening union leaders and civil servants that would heed the job boycott calls
“We have deployed inspectors across the country and anyone not working will face the consequences,” she said.

“The strike, or whatever they are calling it, is illegal because we are still negotiating.

“This is blackmail. We will not allow such action to go unchallenged.

Mupfumira told The Standard that, at law, for civil servants to embark on a strike, negotiations between the two parties should reach a deadlock at least three times. She said no such deadlock had been reached.

“What these civil servants are doing is negotiating in bad faith,” she said.

“We had agreed that we should meet on Monday [tomorrow] to map a way forward after we had agreed to go back and consult our different constituencies.

“The main thrust of the meeting is that we report back what would have been discussed and agreed upon by the various stakeholders,” the minister added.

“We know that a strike is their constitutional right, but they are process that ought to be followed.”

Mugabe, who is receiving treatment for an unknown ailment in Singapore,last year made a commitment that the government would pay the 13th cheque to its restive workers after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that it had been suspended because Treasury’s coffers were dry.

The bonuses were due last November but the government has not come out clearly on how it intends to pay the civil servants who have rejected an offer to give them residential stands in-lieu of cash payouts.

Civil servants union leaders yesterday although the government had  declared the job action illegal, they were going ahead with what could be the biggest strike since July last year when a job boycott brought the country into a standstill.

According to a resolution of a Apex council meeting, an umbrella body of all non-uniformed state workers, civil servants agreed to stage   a one day strike while waiting for the outcome of a meeting between government and their representatives on payment of bonuses that will be held tomorrow.

“The Apex council advises all its members to sit- in/withdraw their labour on the 6th of March 2017 in anticipation of the bonus meeting with government on the same day whose feedback shall determine the next course of action,” the civil servants meeting resolved.

The government—which is battling to secure financial resources to meet daily state needs due to continued economic decline, had offered stands in exchange of cash payment for the 13th cheque.

The workers have rejected the stand offer as bonus payment saying while they need land, the process should not be mixed.

Civil servants accused the government of using state media to malign union leaders as it tried to arm twist union leaders into accepting the offer to give their members housing stands instead of cash.

“In the same vein, the Apex council wishes to advise the minister of Public Service and Social Welfare (Prisca Mupfimira) to always consult with unions first before rushing to the media,” the union stated.

Initially the civil servants had organised a demonstration against government’s failure to pay them bonuses but they now want to withdrawal labour until their 2016 bonuses are paid in cash.

In July last year, Zimbabwe was brought to a standstill after civil servants joined a stay away fronted by social movements such as #ThisFlag and Tajamuka who were protesting against the collapse of the economy and corruption.

Civil servants were not happy with delays in the payment of their salaries. The delays have since become the norm as the government continues to struggle to raise revenues. – The Standard

Related Posts
Robert Mugabe and his wife face troubled times as former allies bay for their blood
VETERANS of Zimbabwe’s war of liberation have declared war on President Robert Mugabe and made a clarion call for citizens to remove him from power in elections next year. Zimbabwe National ...
READ MORE
Moyo berates Mnangagwa over Mugabe obituary remark as the end beckons
EVEN as President Robert Mugabe was clearly struggling to walk, pausing every few seconds for breath at the Heroes Acre on Saturday, Jonathan Moyo was taking issue with an unguarded ...
READ MORE
Didymus Mutasa plots political asylum in India
ZANU PF’s expelled Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa is consulting on options of getting political protection from India where he is domiciled at present. Caught up with Mr Mutasa on Monday ...
READ MORE
Factionalism Worsening in Zanu-PF Ahead of December Conference
HARARE—The factional wars in the ruling Zanu PF party are worsening with the Women’s League setting up a five-member committee to probe Mutare senator and former diplomat Monica Mutsvangwa for ...
READ MORE
Mugabe allies hint they could ditch his party
Zimbabwean war veterans, who have given President Robert Mugabe key support in past, vowed Thursday to rally behind "competent" candidates in next year´s elections even those from the opposition. Chris Mutsvangwa, ...
READ MORE
Zimbabwe churches pushes for impeachment of Zimbabwean tyrant
Church leaders say they will petition Parliament to impeach President Robert Mugabe after the 92-year-old leader ignored their September 28 ultimatum to initiate dialogue and address issues that triggered the ...
READ MORE
Hundreds of Zanu PF thugs assisted by police disrupt Mliswa rally
NORTON - About 300 Zanu PF supporters, with the help of the Zimbabwe police, allegedly violently disrupted Norton by-election independent candidate Temba Mliswa’s rally at the Ngoni Stadium on Saturday. Mliswa’s ...
READ MORE
Chiwenga backs Mnangagwa bid
FOLLOWING Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent remarks in an interview with the London-based New African magazine that the current army commanders are junior and do not pose a threat to his ...
READ MORE
Chinese President Xi Jinping, chats to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, right, upon his arrival in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, Dec. 1. 2015. Jinping is in Zimbabwe for a two day State visit during which he is set to sign some bilateral agreements aimed at strengthening relationships between the two countries. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
BULAWAYO—Although Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Harare is being viewed as historic by some, most ordinary Zimbabweans have a negative view of the Chinese people in general and they ...
READ MORE
Panicking Zimbabwe Regime Deploys Police Ahead of Planned National Protest
MASVINGO — Anti-riot police have been deployed in Masvingo town in anticipation of a public demonstration to be staged by opposition parties on Friday demanding widespread electoral reforms ahead of the ...
READ MORE
Robert Mugabe and his wife face troubled times
Moyo berates Mnangagwa over Mugabe obituary remark as
Didymus Mutasa plots political asylum in India
Factionalism Worsening in Zanu-PF Ahead of December Conference
Mugabe allies hint they could ditch his party
Zimbabwe churches pushes for impeachment of Zimbabwean tyrant
Hundreds of Zanu PF thugs assisted by police
Chiwenga backs Mnangagwa bid
Do Zimbabweans Have Negative View of Chinese Citizens,
Panicking Zimbabwe Regime Deploys Police Ahead of Planned

Arts & Entertainment