“Effective January 1 2019, a 5% cut on basic salary be effected for all senior positions, from principal directors, permanent secretaries and their equivalents, up to deputy ministers, ministers and the presidium.
“This is also extended to basic salaries of those in designated posts in state-owned enterprises (CEOs, executive directors and equivalent grades),” he said.
Last year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) advised Zimbabwe to cut its civil service, which took up 90% of the country’s budget. Doing so would give government leverage to improve social services such as health and education, infrastructure development and power-generation projects.
But at the time, heading towards watershed elections where provision of jobs was a key promise, the Zanu PF government ignored the call.
However, Ncube took heed of the IMF’s advice. Ghost workers, mostly Zanu PF youths, known as “youth officers”, who run into thousands will be laid off.
The minister also revealed that all government property, especially vehicles, will be under strict surveillance. For the first time since independence, government vehicles are to be left at the workplace at the end of day or taken to the nearest police station for safe-keeping.
By the time the budget was presented, the 92-page document had found its way onto social media.