Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE government has started paying civil servants their 2015 annual bonuses.
Members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and Airforce of Zimbabwe started receiving their 13th cheques on Saturday and received their February salaries yesterday.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa last month announced that members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, who include the ZNA and the Airforce of Zimbabwe, would be paid bonuses this month, followed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and the health sector next month.
Minister Chinamasa said the education sector, which has the highest number of employees in the government, would get theirs in April while the rest of the civil service and grant aided institutions will be paid in May.
Soldiers who spoke to The Chronicle yesterday expressed gratitude to the government for honouring its promise.
They said messages reflecting their bonuses in the bank accounts started trickling in on Saturday.
“I’m happy that the government has honoured its promise. I received the message on my phone on Saturday before I received another one today notifying me that my salary was also in my bank account.I’ve been planning for this money for a long time and I’m happy that the government has made it possible for me to go ahead with my plans. The plans depended on the bonus,” said a soldier who declined to be named.
Another said he was elated to see his double salary when he went to the bank yesterday.
“I heard from colleagues that our bonuses were now in the bank accounts and I thought they had mistaken the money for the February 2016 salaries. I went to the bank today and I had been paid both the salary and the bonus. I want to thank the government for honouring its promises. This shows that the government is committed to the welfare of civil servants and also shows that the rest of the civil servants will get their bonuses,” he said.
Last week, outgoing Apex Council president Richard Gundane said it was encouraging to know that the government was putting effort in the payment of bonuses to its workers.
Gundane said the arrangement was acceptable, adding that the announcement of dates well in advance was important to the government workers as it helps them plan.
Anxiety had gripped the civil servants who constantly demanded that the government announces the dates when the bonuses would be paid.
The government had to change the December pay dates for its workers with the last batch of civil servants getting their salaries on January 5.
The government later met the civil servants’ representatives and gave them specific dates for payment.
All workers got their salaries as announced and the employer promised constant dates this year.