Making the 2018 National Budget Presentation on Thursday afternoon, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said that starting in January 2018, Government will retire all civil servants above 65 years. He also said that Government will remove duplication of posts in line with the leaner cabinet that has been put in place.
Chinamasa also said that they will proceed to abolish 3 479 youths officers posts. In August this year, former President Robert Mugabe ordered the reinstatement of over 2 000 youths who had been retrenched from Government. Mugabe claimed that they had been retrenched without Cabinet approval.
Chinamasa also proposed measures to cut budget expenditure and these include:
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- cut number of embassies from current 46
- no first class travel for govt officials expect the Presidium
- reduction of delegation to foreign assignments
- reduce vehicles for top officials from Permanent Secretaries to one
In 2016 Chinamasa announced that the government wage bill gobbled up 94 percent of the national budget, which is funded entirely on taxes. As part of the Lima Plan, Zimbabwe committed to reduce the fiscal deficit to sustainable levels through the alignment and re-organisation of the public service.
The move to lay off civil servants above the retirement age can be seen as an attempt by Chinamasa to fulfill the obligations so that Zimbabwe gets access to fresh capital from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank. Zimbabwe has so far managed to repay its debt to the IMF.