“The problem is that government is using new diction, like staff rationalisation or rightsizing. It is public knowledge and nothing new that government intends to fire no less than 300 000 workers,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said.
“If they are accusing Tsvangirai of inciting the civil service to rebel, they may as well accuse President Robert Mugabe of the same and Patrick Chinamasa (Finance minister) as well because they have both indicated that government will cut its workforce.
“Zanu PF employed thousands of its activists, or rather put them on the government payroll, but they are not engaged in any State function. They are in fact being paid by the State to do Zanu PF work. These are the people we are saying must be removed from the government payroll.”
Tsvangirai has been conducting a series of rallies across the country to strengthen his party ahead of the 2018 elections.
Chinamasa, in his mid-term monetary policy statement, indicated that the government was spending around 83% of its revenues on civil service salaries and that Cabinet had given green-light to a programme of scaling down the size of the state workforce.
MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora said Mugabe was terrified of what “he has gotten himself into”.
But, political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said the IMF-Staff Monitoring Programme (SMP) that the MDC-T was now criticising had been agreed to by former Finance minister, Tendai Biti when the opposition party was still part of the coalition government.
“It was the then Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who signed on behalf of government that Tsvangirai was part of, agreeing to the SMPs. The SMP programme was very clear in terms of its timelines and targets regarding the size of the civil service as part of adjustments to get the economy running again. Now they are seemingly against the move that they were part of,” Mandaza said.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo could not be reached for comment.newsday