25 September 2023

ZIMBABWE: Bonus payments in doubt again

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The treasured “13th cheque” that Zimbabwe’s Public Servants have received as an annual bonus since colonial times is in doubt once again.

Minister for the Public Service, Sekai Nzenza (pictured) told Parliament that the payment was uncertain as she had yet to negotiate the issue with Minister for Finance, Mthuli Ncube.

PS staff traditionally receive bonuses from November, but in the past few years the gratuities for the 250,000-strong workforce have been staggered to the following year due to the financial squeeze.

Past attempts to cancel it altogether were always quashed by former President, Robert Mugabe.

“At this stage, we are reviewing our pension funds and the wage bill, which also includes the bonuses,” Ms Nzenza said.

The Public Service wage bill currently gobbles up 91 per cent of the national Budget.

Secretary-General of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Raymond Majongwe said PS employees would not accept anything less than full payment of the bonus from the Government.

“Former President, Robert Mugabe used to give us our bonuses,” Mr Majongwe said.

He said if current President, Emmerson Mnangagwa claims to be a better leader than Mugabe, he should do better.

“We want our bonuses in US dollars and nothing less,” Mr Majongwe said.

In a separate development, Chair of the Civil Service Commission, Dr Vincent Hungwe has called for a change in the work ethic in the Public Service if the country is to realise its vision for the future.

He said customer engagement was no longer a preserve of the private sector, but also touched on the very fabric of service delivery in the public sector.

“Our Vision 2030 statement demands that the Public Service Commission plays a critical role in creating an empowered, dynamic and innovative system of public administration that is capable of delivering a sustainable and inclusive middle-income society by 2030,” Dr Hungwe said.

Harare, 14 October 2018

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