Govt honours bonus pledge

Minister Mupfumira

Minister Mupfumira

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces received their 2015 bonuses yesterday as Government honours its pledge to pay civil servants their bonuses, despite the obtaining cash flow challenges.It was a case of “smiling all the way to the bank” as members of the defence forces, comprising the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air Force of Zimbabwe, withdrew their bonuses which they had awaited since November last year.

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Some banks in Harare had queues spilling outside their banking halls, as ZDF members withdrew the bonuses, together with their February salaries. Next on the payment schedule will be the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and those in the health sector who will get their bonuses next month, while those in Education will be paid in April.

The rest of the civil service and grant-aided institutions will be paid in May. Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira yesterday confirmed that Government had started paying the bonuses.

“As Government, we honour our commitments and we are much concerned about the welfare of the workers,” she said. Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive Mr Sifiso Ndlovu applauded Government for sticking to its promise. “Government has shown commitment to respect the civil servants’ right to a bonus,” he said.

“Finally, the operational commitment has been put into practice and the workers can now remain focused on service delivery.” College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe president Mr David Dzatsunga said: “We appreciate that finally the employer has walked the talk on bonuses and hope that the same honesty will permeate all facets of Government.

“We also hope to see the same with non-monetary incentives which will cushion us from the low salaries we are getting.” Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary general Mr Raymond Majongwe added: “President Mugabe has lived to his word and we await the same on other promises made to better our conditions of service. We still hope as the Apex Council to meet him and discuss some of the serious challenges we are facing.”

Due to tight fiscal space, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa had early last year contemplated suspending payment of bonuses for 2015 and 2016 to create space for funding Zim-Asset projects.

The move irked civil servants and President Mugabe overturned it, saying: “When Government bestows a benefit on civil servants, that benefit cannot be withdrawn because it has become a right.” The payment of bonuses is being staggered as Government’s tight fiscal space does not allow a once-off payment.

Delays in the payment of 2015 bonuses saw some civil servants threatening to strike, not before their representatives met Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya who took them through what Government had in its coffers at that time. This satisfied the representatives who subsequently ruled out the industrial action.

At least 83 percent of Government revenue is servicing salaries and Government has come up with a number of strategies to reduce the wage bill. Government is rationalising the civil service following an audit carried out last year by the Public Service Commission. Meanwhile, civil servants have elected Mrs Cecelia Alexander of the Public Service Association as the new Apex chairperson, replacing Zimta president Mr Richard Gundane, whose one year tenure ended last month.

Mrs Alexander will be deputised by Mr Enock Paradzai of PTUZ, while Mr Dzatsunga is the new secretary. Apex Council is an umbrella body which brings together public sector unions in salary negotiations with Government.

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  • Chiccos

    At least something positive from government besides the many………Thank you Your Excellency. Continue to protect and uphold this workers’ benefit/right. May you also look into other very important civil servants rights such as the vacation leave which ministries are tempering with without due consideration.

  • chandunga

    And pensioners are still being paid in arrears of one month. Editor please can you find this story for the poor souls?

  • Mkoma Sam

    Thus making sense. As we pay the civil servants in the months of February, March and April 2016, just wait to get the bonuses for the present year few weeks before 2018. We opened a wound that Chinamasa and colleagues will struggle to close. Instead of downsizing the workforce: brought about by those lazy community mujibhas, the govt thinks of paying them bonuses. What role are those guys doing which warrant any bonus. As for our uniformed brothers, teachers and health these definitely need our recognition. Ndabvunza vana mujibha roaming the communities.

  • wenjere

    This is not NEWS. This is poor propaganda.

  • Bererashama

    After Grace has accused and denigrated the Military and CIO for conspiracy theories and factionalism, we can understand the urgency of paying off their bonuses to assure * First Family protection.

  • real zimba

    vanhu vese varikutaura zvavanoda, kuba zvavanoda, mapurisa kumukira kunotora mari paroad zvavanoda, ma factionalists varikutaura zvavanoda, vanhu vachingoita zvavanoda ALL because maSoldiers arikuchengeta runyararo munyika zvakanaka and now you complain kut vapirwei bonus,,,, do you kut imarii bonus racho? $500 is just peanuts for keeping Zimbabwe so different from Syria, Somalia, Rwanda etc. You appreciate wat i am saying day razvichabvondoka then that day you be willing to pay musoja zvese zvaunazvo to be safe

    • Gary WekuZviyambe

      Please tell us the enemy that ZNA is fighting to keep the peace

  • Kuta Kinte

    You are a stinking one. Why are you always conditioned to operating on the opposite side of any positive by our government. Go to the diaspora. This bonus is going to make a difference to some families in Zimbabwe.