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MDC-T Rejects Zimbabwe's 2014 National Budget

Speaker of Parliament of Zimbabwe, Jacob Mudenda
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says it will not support the 2014 national budget when parliament reconvenes next week to deliberate on the government’s revenue collection and expenditure proposals for the year.

The MDC says the budget does not have anything in it that will change for the better the lives of the ordinary people, in particular civil servants.

These remarks were made by Paurina Mpariwa, MDC-T Shadow Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security, at a press conference on the welfare of civil servants and the continuing closure of industries.

Mpariwa said there is nothing to support in the $4.2 billion 2014 budget presented by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa last month.

Lawmakers are next week expected to debate the budget proposal which has to be approved before it can be implemented.

But it does not matter whether the MDC lawmakers support or reject the national budget. Zanu PF lawmakers can still approve it for implementation as the ruling party now has two thirds majority in the legislature.

Mpariwa castigated Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche for allegedly threatening civil servants intending to strike over government’s failure to pay salaries above the poverty datum line.

Goche’s threats, she said, violate the constitution which accords workers the right to participate in collective job action, including the right to strike.

She said contrary to Zanu PF’s 2013 manifesto that it would create more than two million jobs, thousands of workers from all sectors of the economy were losing their jobs due to company closures every months barely six months after President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s resounding victory over the MDC formations.

The Zanu PF government, she said, was failing to attract investors because of its hostile policies.

Although Minister Goche could not be reached for comment, this week he assured civil servants that they will definitely get increased backdated salaries once on-going negotiations have been completed.

Civil servants want the least paid government worker to get $543 from the current $297 per month.

Goche said the government will not impose its new salary structure on workers but will present its position paper on the negotiating table.

Senior officials in both the Public Service and the Finance Ministries told Studio 7 the government has no financial resources to meet demands by the civil servants.