“We know too well from our past experience that robust and honest exchange of opinions and criticism is necessary for any society to be truly democratic and for any government to stay on course”.
THIS is a direct quote from the late former South African president Nelson Mandela; he could have not said it any better. This is exactly what this article seeks to do in response to the Herald article of 14 December 2016 headlined “Government announces December pay dates”.
It is very disgusting to say the least. Can Prisca Mupfumira, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, the Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, and the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe tell the nation of Zimbabwe really who these lesser human beings called “the rest of the civil service” who “will be paid on January 3” are?
This group has been marginalised, downtrodden, subjugated and sacrificed for the country’s non-performing economy for many years now. While others are not only loosening their belts but also even removing them, this category of the civil service is asked to perpetually tighten their belts. This category of the civil service is always the last to be paid. This category, this month is forced to endure the not so united Unity Day, a sorrowful and dry Christmas and miserable New Year holidays without their December salary let alone Bonus. Are they responsible for the country’s non-performing economy?
We thought a Mother Minister of all government workers would understand the plight of all her children. But alas, this is another type of a monster mother who, when food is little in the kitchen, she selects some children to enjoy breakfast and lunch while others are asked to sit and watch waiting for supper while the others are feeding. Is this woman a mother really or is she a monster who devours her own children?
Look at her hyena smile as she watches some children feasting while others are literally dejectedly starving. Typical of a proverbial hyena which when hunger strikes, it eats some of its children saying they are now smelling of goats. Some children are more equal than others. Does she (Mupfumira) even have her own biological children, one wonders.
How did they arrive at this Smith regime diabolic civil service salary payment formula? This insensitivity can only come from nowhere but hell. This category of the civil service does not have a clear-cut promotion criteria that is transparent and fair; the promotion exercise is done haphazardly following the lines of one’s DNA. Recruitment and promotion in this category stinks of clan-based-thinking and lacks meritocracy thereby depriving the country of the best brains in favour of mostly less and/or improperly qualified and unproductive relatives of the Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and the political who is who in the country.Advertisement
As Zimbabweans, we declared to commit ourselves to the Constitution of Zimbabwe as the fundamental law of our land whose preamble states that we the people of Zimbabwe, resolve by the tenets of the constitution, to commit ourselves to build a united, just and prosperous nation, that is founded on the values of transparency, equality, fairness and honest among other guiding principles. Were these founding principles, as enshrined in the preamble of our supreme law, ever considered when the December pay dates for the civil service were announced? Definitely No.
For the avoidance of doubt, our attention is drawn to Chapter 1, Section 3(2) (g) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which spells out the founding values and principles, particularly the principles of good governance, which bind the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level to observe transparency, justice, accountability and responsiveness. If we flout our own constitution at this magnitude, then we have reduced Zimbabwe to an animal kingdom that God can never bless.
If the country’s revenue collection is as little as government wants to make us believe, surely do you also want to make us believe that this is the only and best solution in your wisdom to solve or get around the country’s economic challenges. Sacrificing the so-called REST OF CIVIL SERVANTS??? This fails to satisfy the two components of the Philosophy of Politics and Economics. The component of moral philosophy asks if the actions of a government are morally right and good, and on the other hand the Political Philosophy asks how society should be structured and if the structuring is legitimate.
This is according to one great political philosopher Professor John Rawls, in his book The Theory of Justice, when he was expanding on Thomas Hobbes’ fundamental idea that for a government to be legitimate it must be responsive to the needs of its people. He said justice is the first virtue of social institutions as truth is of systems of thought. A political structure, even if it is efficient, is illegitimate if it is unjust. Does anyone who is not drunk with power and has not yet lost his moral campus find morality, let alone justice, in the December civil service pay dates?
Other philosophers of the 19th century Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill aptly said an action is morally right if it produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people in a country whereby the benefits and burdens of living together in a community are distributed equally across all members of the community so as to best realise what justice requires. If we disregard these great thinkers then we are not as educated as we claim.
Are there no other unnecessary financial commitments to forgo rather than sacrifice this category that has not known a salary increase or promotion for so many years? Like forgoing the unnecessary government foreign trips which gobble hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars every month in air tickets and Travel and Subsistence Allowances for virtually the same people all the time that bring nothing tangible back home.
Couldn’t they cut down on top government officials’ luxurious perks (which are commensurate with our economic performance) such as many top of range vehicles, housemaid and gardener allowance, holiday allowance per every minister, deputy minister, permanent secretaries and other top government officials, and commandeering all the government ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals that generate or collect revenue for goods and services they provide (on behalf of government) to remit all such money to treasury.
These are the first step to ensure that the government purse or treasury is full again as well as curtail corruption. I do not want to believe that you are this ridiculously intellectually challenged not to see that. This betrays the highest literacy rate in Africa that we foolishly boast about. A country cannot be run in this Stone Age Zoo style.
Assuming the national revenue is that little and cannot pay all the government employees before Christmas and New Year holidays, particularly the December salaries, was it not prudent to pay half salaries to all the government employees including Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries on 21 December 2016 and then pay the remaining half salary to all the government employees on 3 January 2017. This brings to memory the Magufuli style of governance. What is wrong with that in our economic situation?
Everyone knows how it feels when you are coming from the cemetery to bury your loved ones, you come back with nothing but you would have buried your loved one. This is how the rest of the civil service felt after having buried their hard work in the civil service graveyard, coming back home to their children empty-handed on 23 December 2016. Can someone tell us how it feels?
This is what you get when the politicians begin to cannibalistically hobnob and concern themselves with protecting their positions, lining their pockets and fattening their ever-bulging bellies. One may be forgiven to say this is institutionalised corruption. To be specific, this is pure blatant cannibalism. The rest of the civil service have been bamboozled.
This leaves me to ask these rhetorical questions, is the nation state of Zimbabwe now a warfare state or a welfare state? Does one need to be a robotics scientist to see this insensitive injustice, not only in the salary payouts but also in recent national budget allocations? Is this not the same government that asked for our votes in 2013? This is what we get in return as appreciation for our vote. Kuchazova rinhiko isu vanyayi tichitambura. Vogovana hupfumi hwayo nyika pahukama hwavo. Nhai Nehanda nyakasikana. Ko hautinzwewo kuchema kwedu here.
This reminds me of the late Soul of the Nation. Surely the soul of this nation died with him. Yet another rhetorical question, did the security sector cast more than one vote per employee while the rest of the civil service employees cast the standard and allowable one vote per employee? This can easily be misconstrued to be a deliberate attempt to set-up the imaginary structures of the civil service against each other, which they will never do.
Everyone fully understands that this is one of the machinations of anarchists, factionalists, successionists and architects of State Capture who want to ferment anarchy, commotion and despondence in the civil service, riding on a foolish belief that this will make the country ungovernable for their selfish ends. Understandably, the civil service cannot hate each other because of the foolishness of their leaders. After all politicians come and go but the civil service remains. Some professors say you can fool some people sometimes but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
The Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Human Resources Directors heading the Ministries of the so-called rest of the civil service are deafeningly silent about this blatant injustice. They are evidently complicit in this crime against humanity.
Lamentations of the tormented disgruntled REST OF CIVIL SERVICE.