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Zim minister to implement drastic cost cutting measures

If the minister’s plans are supported, 25,000 government workers will lose their jobs.

FILE: The Zimbabwean flag. Picture: WikiCommons.

JOHANNESBURG - As Zimbabwe's economic crisis deepens, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa says he plans to cut 25,000 jobs and reduce the wages of cabinet ministers.

The drastic measures are being taken to curb government spending in Zimbabwe, where nearly 97 percent of state revenue is going on wages.

If the minister's plans are supported, 25,000 government workers will lose their jobs by the end of 2017.

He says this will save $155 million a year, and will be one of several cost-cutting measures.

Others include shutting some foreign embassies and cutting the pay of senior government officials.

In a policy review statement, the finance minister also says he wants to suspend payments of civil servants' bonuses for the next two years.

But sceptical Zimbabweans have been pointing out that when he tried to do that last year, he was overruled by President Robert Mugabe, and bonuses were eventually paid.