This Spells The End Of Morgan Tsvangirai And The MDC
Prime Minister Tsvangirai, seen here on his tour of Europe to drum up support for the Inclusive Government, has been revealed today to be accepting huge sums of money for payment of staff salaries for people working in his office. Some are getting as much as US$7 000 per month. The revelations have sparked levels of anger against Tsvangirai that I have never seen, except within ZANU PF circles. He is coming off as not only uncaring, but also a liar, for claiming that all civil servants, including himself, earn only US$100 per month. People are angry because employers are using this as a benchmark when they pay their own workforceHarare, Zimbabwe, 11 September 2009
You have by now heard, of course.
While the Prime Minister and his Finance Minister are telling Zimbabwe's struggling workforce that they only earn US$100 per month, they are actually getting as much as US$7 000 per month.
This is the main story on the front page of The Herald, Zimbabwe's ZANU PF-aligned state newspaper and the only daily newspaper left in Zimbabwe apart from the Chronicle, another ZANU PF-aligned state newspaper published for the Southern regions of Zimbabwe.
That the story is true is in no doubt, because the Minister of State in Prime Minister Tsvangirai's office, Gorden Moyo has confirmed that the World Bank is "supplementing' the salaries of the Prime Minister's staff, as well as other MDC people.
I at first refused to believe the headline until I read the story and then spoke to people in the Prime Minister office whom I normally speak with. They were quite boastful about it, saying yes, they are getting the money and ZANU PF should not complain because they enjoyed good lives and are still enjoying good lives.
Shocking is what this is.
The Prime Minister, in accepting such a move from the World Bank, is setting the electorate against him, especially in light of the fact that he plainly lied to the people of Zimbabwe when he said that he only gets US$100.
With teachers on strike demanding more pay, as are doctors, this is an insult of the highest order.
To be certain, Mugabe is using this information to try and destroy Tsvangirai, but there is no excuse for what the Prime Minister is doing with his people and the World Bank.
Anger was widespread in Harare this morning. At Fourth Street Bus Terminus, where hordes of people gather to board buses, there were groups of people standing around in circles, all reading copies of the Herald (it costs US$1, so not many can afford it, hence they had to share when one person bought it).
Some of the sentiments that came out of these gatherings show just how perilous Tsvangirai's position now is.
Some pointed out that their own employers were paying them "nzungu", peanuts, of around US$100 because "Tsvangirai and Biti gave them that example"
"Tanga tichiti tiri tese," said one man, quite neatly dressed in a suit and tie, as he clucked in disgust and walked away towards Fourth Street. His statement, translated, means, "We thought we were in this together.."
Certainly, this latest move to publicise the information by The Herald is having a spectacular effect on the ordinary person. The suffering of the people is still widespread, with unemployment still running at more than 90%.
One young man at Fourth Street said Biti, specifically was a cold-hearted man, and referred to the IMF funds which the Minister is said to be preparing to return to the lender on the basis that Zimbabwe can not afford to repay it and its interest.
"He wants us to continue suffering. It's like Mugabe all over again." That was what the young man said in Shona.
One should have been there to really understand the anger.
I believe that this revelation is a mortal wound for Tsvangirai and the MDC. I am absolutely certain after what I saw today at Fourth Street that time will prove me right.