World Bank Scrambles To Save Tsvangirai
World Bank Headquarters in Bretton Woods: The Bank scrambled to try and clarify its role in the alleged slush fund set up for Morgan Tsvangirai's staff in the Zimbabwe Government. But their explanation fails to exonerate the Prime Minister and his party. Besides, the damage has already been done, with the State newspaper the Sunday Mail again carrying the story today as if it was new. This is coming a couple of days after the Herald made this issue its front page banner this last week, prompting expressions of revulsion from Zimbabwe's unemployed and those getting by on US$100 per month while the Prime Minister and his people pocket as much as US$7 000 per month as "salaries" from the World Bank slush fund
Harare, Zimbabwe 13 September 2009
The World Bank rushed yesterday to issue a statement regarding revelations that the Bretton Woods institution i paying salaries of as much as US$7 000 for staff in the MDC and the Prime Minister's office, as well as other MDC ministries.
The bank issued a statement clarifying it's involvement in this affair, which is proving almost fatal to the Prime Minister's standing with the people of Zimbabwe after Mugabe make hay with the issue, publicising it widely and, in the process, discrediting the Prime Minister's profile as a leader with the interests of the people at heart.
The World Bank says that they are indeed paying salaries, but that these are for "technical support staff." The bank also says that the contracts for these people are short term, normally six moths or less.
While admitting that these short-term contracts can be extended ad infinitum, the bank maintains that the move is designed to help the government of Zimbabwe do research to come up with policies to address the challenges facing the country.
Seven months after Tsvangirai started work as Prime Minister, there is still to be a single policy initiative from him with regards the economy, which makes the World Bank claims ring rather hollow.
Although the dictator is trying to make paint Tsvangirai as unfeeling, uncaring and as working against the interests of struggling unemployed and underemployed Zimbabweans, there is no doubt that the Prime Minister, as I said before, made a monumental blunder in accepting this politically unacceptable move. The naivety is simply breathtaking.
What it also ensures is that the civil service will also turn against the Prime Minister and I dare say that he will not get anything accomplished in this moribund Inclusive Government as a result.
It is almost certain now that the rest of the civil service will start sabotaging whatever the MDC tries to do in government. They will have the backing of Mugabe and ZANU PF in this sabotage and they will not be fired even if they are exposed to be actively working to smear Tsvangirai.
With our civil service numbers standing at more than a quarter of a million these are a lot of votes for the Prime Minister to lose.
Despite all the bravado and the wishful thinking, here in Harare, one thing is clear now as a result of these revelations, which the World Bank statement does nothing to dispel:
The MDC is now virtually a dead party walking.