President Robert Mugabe loyalist Energy Mutodi has blasted the Higher Education minister Professor Jonathan Moyo for saying bonus was not a right for government workers and that some civil servants did not deserve it because they are “drunkards and non-performers” describing the remarks as unfortunate and not supposed to have been said by a Zanu PF minister and a Politiburo member.
Professor Moyo made the remarks on Twitter last week and ever since, there has been disquiet among civil servants who feel let down by the government over its failure to pay salaries on fixed dates as well as its failure to deliver bonuses at the end of the year as expected.
“The statement by the Honorable Minister has given a wrong impression that government has a callous unconcern for the civil servants who have for a long time endured economic hardships emanating from economic mismanagement and poor policies by government among other factors such as sanctions,” he said.
“The failure to pay bonuses is just one symptom of failure on the part of government and if professor Moyo was an alert and hardworking minister, he should have argued for the reversal of the destructive policies that continue to harm the economy such as the indigenization policy that is scaring away investors.”
Mutodi said the fact that Moyo has kept quiet while such policies are ruining the economy unabated mean that he is actually the one who is non-performing together with some of his cabinet colleagues and therefore does not deserve the hefty salary, expensive cars and other perks that he is getting from government.
“Civil servants are not responsible for the government’s poor policies that continue to suffocate the economy of the much needed foreign direct investment. It would have been better if Professor Moyo had actually apologized to the civil servants for government failure to pay bonus on time and also thank them for remaining loyal and hard working even under the difficult economic situation that is set to deepen due to the impending drought this year,” he said.
He said it does not portray any logic to pay civil servants religiously for twelve months and then start questioning their performance when it is time to pay bonus.
“The standard practice is that bonus must be paid to every worker who has been at work for the past twelve months regardless of performance. It is therefore my view as a member of Zanu PF that the statements by Professor Moyo are his own views and do not represent neither the views of Zanu PF nor those of the Executive particularly President Mugabe who last year reiterated that government was committed to the payment of civil service bonuses,” he said.
“The president said this following a hastily organized press conference in which again Professor Moyo and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa had announced that government would not pay bonuses owing to its cash strapped situation.”
Mutodi said however, while the statement by Professor Moyo describing civil servants as boozers and undeserving of bonuses should not be regarded as a Zanu PF view, it remains a position and opinion of his G40 faction which earlier has been on a crusade, describing war veterans as drunkards and taxi drivers much to the detriment of the party’s survival.
“The G40 faction is composed of ambitious young tucks who are keen on succeeding President Mugabe by isolating him from his support base until such a time he inevitably surrenders power to a younger leader preferably one of their own.
“The President’s support base that has now been frustrated by the actions and statements of the G40 includes the war veterans and the civil servants, particularly the police and the CIO that has guaranteed the party’s success at the polls over the years,” said Mutodi.
Energy Mutodi is a PhD student at the University of Cape Town. He is a member of Zanu PF.