Civil servants should get their USD bonus in full: Minister

04 Dec, 2021 - 00:12 0 Views
Civil servants should get their USD bonus in full: Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube

The Chronicle

Yoliswa Dube-Moyo, Mat South Bureau Chief
CIVIL servants should be allowed to withdraw their United States Dollar bonus payments in full subject only to daily cash withdrawal limits set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

As of Wednesday, bonus payments in foreign currency had been effected for all civil servants and pensioners through their banks.

They have been receiving up to a maximum of US$700 and civil service pensioners were receiving US$100 per individual after President Mnangagwa decided on a once-off cushion following challenges experienced this year due to exchange rate fluctuations.

Those on pay scales requiring more than US$700 were getting the balance in local currency.

In a statement, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube said bonus payment amounts are to be made in full without deduction or levy.

He said Government and banks would agree on a structure for bank charges for these specific amounts which charges must be kept to a minimum.

“It has come to the attention of Treasury that some banks are compulsorily liquidating civil servants bonus payments and thereby forcibly paying them in domestic currency.

In addition, banks have resorted to making arbitrary charges against the bonus payments with some taking significant portions of the wages in the form of bank charges,” said Prof Ncube.

He said both practices take away the intended benefits of the bonus payments and appealed to the banks for their usual support and co-operation in ensuring that the payment of civil servants’ bonuses is implemented smoothly.

“For the better part of the year 2021, Government has been seized with various initiatives to continue to stabilise the economy, contain inflationary pressures and therefore, restore the purchasing power of the local currency with the primary goal being to increase the domestic and external competitiveness of the economy, save and preserve jobs and livelihoods and limit damage to the economy particularly in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Prof Ncube.

He said macro fiscal stabilisation had been achieved largely through fiscal consolidation and the resultant attainment of both fiscal balance and stabilisation of the current account.

To further consolidate gains made in reducing inflation from a peak rate of 875 percent in July 2020 to less than 55 percent currently and recognising the cyclical nature of annual price hikes whenever payment dates for civil servants’ bonuses approach, Prof Ncube said, the Government decided to pay the 2021 bonuses for all civil servants in foreign currency.

By October, the country had recorded US$7,2 billion in foreign currency receipts, resulting in a positive current account of about US$1,7 billion, that is more foreign currency had come in than had been spent.

“Government is grateful for, and fully recognises the sacrifice and co-operation of all Zimbabweans in the effort to stabilise the economy, which is now on a firm foundation for growth,” said Prof Ncube.
Government is expected to pay out over US$90 million. — @Yolisswa.

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