There is a joke doing rounds on social media that nurses — earning a basic monthly salary less than $300 — go on strike and they are fired, but on the other hand, deputy Finance minister Terrence Mukupe beats up his subordinate in protest over a $910 allowance for a three-day trip to South Africa, and gets away with it by paying a $30 fine.
Though it’s humour, almost always brushed aside by our leadership, the joke aptly captures the crisis Zimbabwe is in.
Looking at the two scenarios, one would ask who has a genuine plight, Mukupe or the nurses.
To any right-thinking man, the nurses obviously.
All things being equal, if labour laws of the land are respected and President Emmerson Mnangagwa is serious about addressing Zimbabwe’s problems, Mukupe must have been fired by now.
His actions — totally unexpected from a person of such status in society — were beyond reproach.
They bring up many burning questions — is this the calibre of people Mnangagwa has entrusted with key responsibilities to help him fix broken Zimbabwe?
Who deserves to be punished — the nurses or Mukupe? That Mukupe is still in his job is ridiculous.
It’s hard to believe that government then moves to fire the striking nurses for demanding better remuneration, a demand they have made over the years but ignored.
On the other hand, government turns a blind eye to Mukupe’s appalling behaviour.
Mukupe’s attitude is a clear manifestation of the greed and “I don’t care attitude” that has brought us to where we are today — a broken economy whereby the politicians are among the cushioned rich and the ordinary masses are struggling to put food on the table.
The $900 allowance he shockingly and ashamedly strangled his subordinate — finance director Ignatius Mvere — over, arguing it was paltry, can pay a nurse’s basic salary for three months.
Nine hundred dollars is no small money, considering it was just a three-day trip and more importantly, Zimbabwe is broke to the bone.
In addition to his hefty salary, allowances and luxury vehicles fuelled by hard-earned tax payers’ money, Mukupe saw it right and deserved to get nearly $1 000 dollars for three day’s work — attending a conference.
No wonder why there hasn’t been any meaningful and tangible progress since the November debacle.
The Mnangagwa administration’s judgment seems to be questionable.
Please, in light of the scandal by Mukupe — a man who is supposed to be enforcing austerity measures for broke Zimbabwe — review your ill-advised decision to fire the nurses. Daily News