FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday predicted the MDC-T will lose the 2018 elections following the decision by its leader Morgan Tsvangirai to appoint Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as his two new additional vice-presidents.
Chinamasa said this while answering a question in the Senate by Manicaland Senator Keresencia Chabuka (MDC-T), who wanted to know when the next elections would be held in view of the spiralling economic crisis which President Robert Mugabe’s government was failing to control.
“You started well when you asked about the economy, but you lost it when you started talking about politics because when we discuss economics, we don’t want to talk of things that divide us Zimbabweans,” he said.
“You know that elections will be in 2018 and I am surprised you want elections because with the way your party MDC-T is divided, you cannot be sure of winning. You now have three VPs, which is outside your constitution and it was done by one person without going to congress, and do not be surprised when one day you have MDC with four different hyphens, MDC-T, MDC-K, MDC-M and MDC-C.”
Chinamasa, as expected, blamed sanctions for the economic crisis. The Finance minister said he was, however, courting the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank on Zimbabwe’s crippling foreign debt.
Asked by Manicaland Senator David Chimhini (MDC-T) to explain why civil servants now have to negotiate their salary dates, Chinamasa conceded government was facing problems in paying government workers.
“You are abusing the word ‘negotiating’ because civil servants have a right to salaries. Circumstances are such that now we are unable to meet salary obligations on time and we merely explain to them that we can pay when resources have been mobilised,” he said.
Chinamasa said the fact that the formal sector was not performing well was affecting revenue collection to pay salaries for government workers.
“At the end of the day, no one has gone without salaries. We have been able to pay,” he said.
Masvingo Senator Misheck Marava (MDC-T) asked Chinamasa to explain government’s policy regarding invasions of sugar estates like Tongaat Hullet where 2 000 jobs were at risk.
Chinamasa said that was not acceptable, adding government policy stipulated there must not be invasions of plantations and dairies.
“Plantations and dairies cannot be put under land reform because the fiscus will lose on exports of sugar yet what we are crying for is more production,” Chinamasa said. newsday