26 September 2023

ZIMBABWE: President gifts a bonus to workers

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Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) has stepped into the Government’s dispute with its Public Service by offering a surprise $US200 ($A299) top-up bonus for all officers.

Commentators saw this as a bid to charm the country’s restive public workforce, while putting one foot into his 2023 re-election campaign.

The Presidential bonus is to be paid on top of the traditional ‘13 th cheque’ of a month’s salary, paid at the end of the year, and is expected to go some way to cushion officers from inflationary pressures, reports say.

Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Public Sector Trade Unions, David Dzatsunga said the additional incentive came out of the blue at a meeting of the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) that brought together Government and public sector union representatives.

“The President intervened because we had realised that the 13th cheque bonus was not going to be quite meaningful without that extra $US200,” Mr Dzatsunga said.

“It will be paid in two tranches; half of that will be paid this month (November) and the other half will be paid next month,” he said.

“This was done to make sure that everybody gets their money in time for Christmas.

“Naturally, workers are appreciative of the extra money.”

Under pressure from unions, the Government has scrapped its controversial plan to pay performance-based bonuses to Public Servants, which would have been a departure from the past practice of paying a uniform 13th cheque to all workers.

Harare, 14 November 2022

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