Bonus dates out . . . Civil servants’ long wait for 13th cheque ends

Minister Patrick Chinamasa

Minister Patrick Chinamasa

Felex Share Harare Bureau
Civil servants will start receiving their 2015 bonuses this month, with members of the defence forces being the first while the rest of the government workers get their 13th cheques between February and May.
This was disclosed by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa to our Harare Bureau yesterday, as Treasury moves in to fulfil the pledge made by President Robert Mugabe last year that despite the cash flow constraints being experienced, civil servants should get their bonuses.

Minister Chinamasa said members of the defence forces who include the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air Force of Zimbabwe will get paid this month, followed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and the Health sector in March.

The education sector, which has the highest number of employees in the government, will get their bonuses in April while the rest of the civil service and grant-aided institutions will be paid in May.

Minister Chinamasa said due to cash flow challenges, a once off payment was impossible hence the decision to stagger the bonuses.

“For the benefit of the public and other relevant stakeholders, I wish to advise that the government remains committed to honouring its 2015 bonus obligations to its employees,” he said.

“As you’re already aware, the government is experiencing cash flow constraints, which makes it untenable to effect a bullet payment. To allow room to mobilise the required resources, the government will be staggering the payment of bonuses for public servants beginning this month until May 2016.”

Anxiety had gripped government workers who constantly demanded that the government announces the dates when the bonuses would be paid.

Minister Chinamasa said specific pay dates will be communicated upon mobilisation of requisite resources, adding that “Treasury sincerely regrets all the inconvenience caused.”

In previous years, the government staggered the bonuses due to cashflow challenges and some workers received their 13th cheque as late as January instead of the traditional November.

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

The move irked civil servants and President Mugabe overturned the suspension saying “when the government bestows a benefit on civil servants, that benefit cannot be withdrawn because it has become a right.”

Last month, the government had to change pay dates for its workers with the last batch getting their salaries on January 5.
The government later met the civil servants representatives and gave them specific pay dates when their salaries would be paid.

All workers got their salaries as announced and the employer promised constant pay dates this year.
The delays in the payment of the 2015 bonuses saw some civil servants threatening to strike but their representatives later ruled out the strike after meeting Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya who took them through what the government had in its coffers at that time.

At least 83 percent of government revenue is gobbled by salaries, a development that stifles economic growth.
The government has come up with a number of strategies to reduce the wage bill and is rationalising the civil service following an audit carried out last year by the Civil Service Commission.

Student teachers and trainees’ allowances have been reduced from $329 to $157 while salaries for teachers at private and trust schools have been terminated.

All vacant posts have been abolished, bus fare for civil servants has been re-introduced, under-used staff is being redeployed, funding of bridging courses has been scrapped while all members who were abusing various types of leave, tampering with pay sheets and attendance registers have been charged.

At the same time, no teacher will go on vacation leave as there is no money to pay relief teachers who will replace them for the three months they will be away.

The government has also reintroduced a 7,5 percent pension contribution, which had been shelved since 2009 when every civil servant was getting $100.

Despite the non-contribution, the government continued paying full pension benefits to workers on termination of employment before the situation became unsustainable.

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  • Uzazibonela

    Police and Corrective Services must be paid at the same time as the ZNA and AFZ.

    We do not have two classes of uniformed services, Cde Chinamasa!

    • Mahlabathi

      This one is an idiot,shame.

  • Giyani Giyani

    Why try to govern if you can’t?

    • vuthelinkani

      how do you pay bonus when you have a back log of september salaries. half

      of you are not insane

      • mkhuthuzi

        there is also the beginning of year salary increases which are also supposed to be addressed at the beginning of year, it has been like that from 1980

  • koka

    Last years’ bonuses will be paid in April, 2016 bonuses in September the following year, 2017 bonuses in December of the following year and 2018 in December of the same year. new govt will have taken over from zanu. most zanu thieves will be behind bars for steal country’s resources. zanumustfall

  • bakwena

    No need to pay road blockers they pay themselves look at the properties they parade the answer is obvious , rather vet them to save coffers

  • Bambanani

    By the time they complete the bonus payment, 2016 bonuses will be due.

  • okapi

    the bonus should come as directed so that the workers utilise their money on time, chinamasa should stop the delaying tactics, if something is due for the workers then why deny them, it should be paid as morale is getting affected

  • mboma

    why not suspend this bonus issue if you see that you can not afford.please prioritize your needs

    • qembu

      mboma no to suspending, it should come early as there is suffering the workers are anxiously waiting for their money, a promise is a credit

      • hokoyo

        why ucabanga njengomuntu ongafundanga? I have never insulted anyone on this forum but your words are so infuriating njani..Honestly ?????? A promise is a credit ???? SUKA

        • qembu

          ayisiyo nhlamba ngithi kumele begcwalise isithembiso njalo benga suspend imali yabo, limqotho sihlobo kangifundanga. Phepha uma amazwi ami ekukhuba

  • educated fool

    How about the CIO?

  • qili

    a hungry man is an angry man, the bonus should not be delayed

  • Membathisi

    At last this promise will be fulfilled.Civil servants are very strategic.But pliz more exports,transparency in the mining sector,open Zisco Steel,more irrigation works so that the national cake increases.

  • qhinga

    the directive was supposed to have been obeyed long back in November 2015 there is no reason for Chinamasa to hide behind a finger

  • samas

    I don’t see why chinamasa should be blamed for this.He was quite frank beginning of last year that they could not afford to pay bonuses because there was no money.But RGM as usual overturned that.Bonuses were not paid on time because there was no money so chinamasa had to wait for RGM to come back from his vacation to give him the way forward.So wherever bob has got the money from ,we should brace ourselves for more suffering.Let’s not forget how he sourced money to pay out war vets.The younger generations are being told that it was sanctions by whoever.He is paying the army first to protect himself.The other civil servants,even if you fail to get your share,mugodii.Some loyalty is so misplaced.

    • Observer gonzo

      Remember in the late 90′s he biggest knock on the economy (excl land reform) came after RGM promised to pay gratuity to War Vets that had not been provided in the fiscus. He was warned by economists on the impact on inflation, interest rates e.t.c. and I remember RGM’s rhetoric all too well – the Economists got to be called “Texts book” economists out of touch with present realities. I remember he also said that he did not care were the funds would come from…they could be borrowed as we have always done from Banks, IMF world bank e.t.c If these institutions were becoming uneasy with economic mismanagement, well we still controlled our Zim$ money printing machines anyway. Yes he got the loyalty of the Hunzvi lead war vets by the disastrous subsequent sequence of events is now history!…only that now our youths are being told of sanctions when the economic meltdown started during that era. The happiness of the war vets was to be temporary as they like everyone else eventually suffered immensly from such ill fated decisions

      Before celebrating, how much are we sacrificing in pursuit of President’s otherwise impossible promise where we were told by the Finance Minister we could not afford? Revenue collections have nose dived even more from the time Chinamasa warned the Gvt could not pay bonuses…where is the money coming from? Could our Hospital drugs stores running dry of even pain killers be a tip of the iceberg of what sacrifices are being made to protect RGM legacy in fulfilling an otherwise impractical promise.

      • okapi

        don’t forget that the Police are raising money from their activities, thats where the money will come from and dont under rate the effects of sanctions on the economy, the west is fighting this country because it has addressed some of the short falls of the land issue which was in the hands of the colonialists than the black majority, there is no reason of denying the workers their dues and try to refer to such as examples as you mention, the workers have received their monies on time ever since we gained independence why should they be denied now

    • okapi

      the bonus has been the tradition since independence, the workers are aware that come end of year its there. ZANU has always paid

      • Mahlabathi

        Paying useless thieves – Teachers /ZRP/ passport officers – imali le ilahlelwa emgodini. Cry the beloved country. These evil servants bajayezwa. The Govt. must change its attitude – those of us in the private sector are being milked to feed thugs – even Khami Prison inmates are better than these weevils……Nxaaaaa.

        • The real PF

          Gamatox will deal with the weevils!

  • Mmmm

    Hawu Mahlabathi ungaphi lamuhla? Ziiii.Bakuthathele yini iLaptop ?

    • ebhuqwini

      egxenye umahlabathi uyathole imali yakhe kuyonale inyanga

  • Martin Chipimo

    While this comes as a relief to the civil servants, Minister Chinamasa needs to praised for his acumen in managing the scarce resources. The (President) government should not make an uninformed promises to the civil servants before consulting the relevant ministry. Surely, when it comes to economic phenomena, you cannot dictate to them BUT they dictate to you or us as a government. H.E. may find his government cash strip in the near future, if due diligence is not exercised!!

    • Mahlabathi

      This most sane comment that you have ever made. Paying evil servants for nothing – the Govt, is wasting our scarce resources.

  • bh

    So…. bonus payments until May. A few month later 2016 Bonus will be due… CIRCUS

  • Bul-24/7

    Rumours about rumours etc, etc. This is going nowhere. Can someone please set the record straight?