CHINHOYI, August 1 – ZIMBABWEAN President, Robert Mugabe, has ordered government departments to reinstate thousands of civil servants, mostly youths, retrenched in the wake of economic problems.
The Southern African country is grappling with severe economic problems marked by cash shortages and unemployment estimated at 90 percent.
Companies have been shutting operations rendering thousands unemployed.
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF fears such problems could lead to their downfall in watershed elections in 2018.
Speaking at a youth rally in historic northern town of Chinhoyi in Mashonaland West province, the veteran leader sounded surprised about the retrenchments, which ironically are blamed on his controversial policies.
“What surprises me I hear many more youths employed by government are being sacked,” said Mugabe (93).
“We were never told why they are being dismissed. We will not accept such dismissals,” he charged.
His stance has been dismissed as politicking in the face of increased unpopularity of the government because of the economic problems.
Civil servants, majority of Zimbabwe’s work force go for months without getting their salaries due to severe cash shortage.
Those luck to receive always access a paltry $20 per day (about R260) from banks, also experiencing acute cash shortage.
Police have been deployed in many highways to raise revenue for government’s civil servants through unpopular roadblocks.
Partisan and corrupt police raise money through fines after petty, trumped-up charges.
More tollgates are being erected despite the poor state of Zimbabwe’s roads that have killed many this year alone.
Analysts have denounced the government of underhand tactics. Mugabe and his party blame the problems on sabotage by Western countries.
“The government has turned into a mafia regime that raises money by hook or by crook,” said an economist on condition of anonymity.