Zimbabwe struggling to pay diplomats on time: official

zimbabwe mapThe cash-strapped Zimbabwe government is battling to pay salaries on time to diplomatic staff deployed to its 43 embassies across the world, a senior official said Tuesday.

Willard Manungo, secretary for the Finance Ministry told a parliament committee discussing foreign affairs that the government owes diplomats about $10 million (nine million euros) in salary arrears.

With regards to the “salaries issue we are two months behind and we are taking steps to deal with that,” said Manungo.

“We are doing our best to provide minimum levels of resources to guarantee… operations.”

Zimbabwe’s government has over the years struggled to pay its embassies’ staff on time as it struggles to revive the shattered economy amid a cash crunch.

About 80 percent of the country’s budget goes towards paying government workers, according to Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Zimbabwe has been saddled with a financial crisis for over a decade following President Robert Mugabe’s land reforms which decimated farming, the backbone of the economy.

Thousands of companies have shut down or migrated to neighbouring countries as they faced viability problems due to the perpetual liquidity shortage.

Growth is expected to weaken further this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Investors have been scared off by the country’s indigenisation laws, which require locals to hold majority stakes in all firms.

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  • Sbat

    Indigenisation laws are unrelated to the rest of the article. ASEAN countries like Thailand who have strong foreign investment have similar laws.

    • tora tsume

      The difference being the intelligent application of indigenization laws. I am sure that you will agree that neither Singapore, nor Thailand are ‘basket cases’, unlike Zimbabwe. While both of those countries have their problems, neither are kleptocracies, nor wholesale murderers of their own people, and have had reasonably peaceful changes in the head of state, unlike Zimbabwe. Neither of those countries have vilified white/European people as their ‘boogieman’.

      • Sbat

        I think you would be surprised at how many national leaders ARE in fact, “basketcases.” In any case, Thailand has had 19 military coups since 1932. An African nation with that many coups would surely be considered a basket case, and certainly not considered a real democracy. And these were not all bloodless like the most recent and current military junta is. The military basically runs the country and steps in to dissolve the government when popularly elected politicians aren’t towing the right line, very likely at the behind-the-scenes behest of the king. The aristocratic/historically elite class essentially uses the military to maintain a semi-permanent control over the electoral apparatus – this is the very definition of kleptocracy! The only difference between Thailand and any African nation is it’s very open cooperation with Western economic policy.