ZIMBABWE does not have the capacity to sustain three vice-presidents as the country is already burdened with external and internal debts, analysts said on Friday.
President Robert Mugabe on Friday swore in two vice-presidents, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
According to the Constitution, former vice-president Joice Mujuru will continue living off taxpayers as she draws a monthly pension equivalent to the salary of a sitting vice-president for life.
Veteran economist John Robertson said the country did not have resources to sustain the current scenario.
“The government will struggle to find the money and this means we are in trouble,” Robertson said.
Opposition MDC-T economic adviser Eddie Cross said two vice-presidents were unsustainable and the economy was doomed.
“We don’t have the money but right now the president (Robert Mugabe) is taking 5% of the national budget yet Parliament is just getting the one tenth,” Cross said.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions general secretary Japheth Moyo said the country was suffering because of leaders that make bad decisions.
“Our decision should be on sustainability not on politics. I’m not sure whether the president assessed the impact the decision has on the economy.
“Already the country has challenges as we are failing to meet our obligations. We are struggling to pay our civil servants on time; we are not able to pay our debts with the International Monetary Fund.
“The country has got pressing issues and we cannot be able to sustain three vice-presidents; it’s terrible,” Moyo said.
Policy and economic analyst Butler Tambo said it was sad that struggling taxpayers were going to pay for someone to stay at home. He said the creation of a war veterans’ ministry was not sustainable.
“We are not going to create new employment next year given that more than half of our budget is going towards paying civil servants. We cannot afford to pay so much for people to stay at home,” Tambo said.
“Right now the industry is operating at 36% capacity utilisation and people are overtaxed.
“As a country, we need to cut our expenditure because the cost is unbearable,” he added.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said Zimbabwe’s economy was projected to grow by 3,2% next year with key sectors such as mining and tourism likely to register modest growth.
From the budgeted $4,1 billion he presented last month, a total of $3,2 billion dollars is for civil servants’ salaries.