Four former Zimbabwean ministers who lost their jobs in a Cabinet shuffle by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are demanding severance packages including the retention of their high-end ministerial vehicles.
Sources said the irate ex-ministers – Elias Mudzuri, Fidelis Mhashu, Evelyn Masaiti and Thamsanqa Mahlangu – demanded Mr. Tsvangirai engage his fellow unity government principals as to their compensation.
Sources said the four are demanding three months pay and allowances plus pensions, among other perks.
Labor experts said the ex-ministers are entitled to most of these benefits even if the government cannot afford to pay them at present. None of the sacked ministers could be reached for comment on the reports.
Tsvangirai spokesman James Maridadi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the “redeployed” ministers must follow proper channels when negotiating terminal benefits instead of doing so through the media. “It’s a contract between two parties and as such I think it is unethical for us to make this an issue of public debate,” he said.
Labor expert Davies Ndumiso Sibanda said the fired ministers should receive decent severance packages even if this placed a burden on taxpayers. “I want to believe that there is a special provision on ministerial vehicles which will ensure that they will retain them without any hurdles,” said Sibanda.
Some political commentators say Mr. Tsvangirai made the right decision to sack “underperforming” ministers in an effort to strengthen the government, others charged he was purging rivals within his MDC formation.