Welshman Ncube, who leads a break-away MDC party has described as “reckless”, demands by former freedom fighters, saying if President Robert Mugabe bows down to pressure, the comatose economy will collapse further.
The nonagenarian last week met agitated war veterans in the capital where they presented a raft of challenges they were facing ranging from statutory benefits, economic empowerment to preferential treatment on economic opportunities and indigenisation.
Ncube said the war veterans were behaving like they were living on another planet, where they were not acquainted with the real challenges affecting Zimbabwe’s economy.
Taping into history, Ncube said it must not be forgotten that the two major factors that contributed to the fall of the once vibrant economy include Zimbabwe’s participation in the DRC war as well as the “out of budget” payment of Z$50 000 benefits to war veterans.
“The reckless demands are being made on an economy which is already comatose,” Ncube said.
“… as we all know that government has been unable … to pay pensions timeously for quite some time and they have been unable neither to pay salaries on time”, he said.
The MDC president said any further approval to their demands had obvious implications on the economy.
“If you then basically shock the economy again by approving a huge increase in the pensions and allowances that they already receive, there cannot be doubt that the effect on the economy will be massive and negative.
He added: “Indeed the very fact that they have been complaining that school fees is not being paid on time tells you that the economy is already under stress …”
The opposition leader said it was unfortunate that Mugabe can surprisingly approve such a request ostensibly for his political survival at the expense of the overburdened and under-performing economy.
“We know that under Mugabe’s rule, common sense, basic economics always takes the back banner to political survival and expediency,” he said. daily news