Abigail Mawonde, Harare Bureau
Government has said the 17,5 percent Special Civil Service Allowance awarded recently is permanent and is going to be part of civil servants’ earnings with effect from this month, contrary to false reports circulating that it is a once-off payment.
Public Service Commission chairman Dr Vincent Hungwe cleared the air on the matter in a statement yesterday.
“It has come to the attention of the Public Service Commission that some elements are relaying false information to the effect that 17,5 percent Civil Service Special Allowance agreed between the Government and the Civil Service Apex Council on May 24, 2018 is a once-off payment,” he said.
“The special allowance was introduced to cushion members of the public service from the rising cost of living. It is a non-taxable allowance that will increase the net income of civil servants.”
Dr Hungwe said Government was not going to withdraw the allowance.
“Government will not withdraw the allowance as it now forms part of the remuneration package as agreed by the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC),” he said.
“The Public Service seeks to categorically state that the 17,5 percent special allowance is not a once-off payment, but it is going to be part of one’s earnings with effect from July 2018.”
Dr Hungwe said in terms of the agreement, Government was also expected to implement payment of cash-in-lieu of vacation leave for teachers who had reached a ceiling of 123 days over six months between July and December 2018; and alignment of rentals in Government accommodation to housing allowances.
He said Government had already started paying the cash-in-lieu of vacation leave for teachers and was also working on modalities to align rentals for institutional accommodation as well as finalising housing allowances.
“Government remains committed to improving conditions of service of all its employees across all sectors,” said Dr Hungwe. “In pursuit of this agenda, Government pledges to continue to work with all stakeholders, including partners under the NJNC, to formulate a comprehensive, holistic and equitable remuneration framework for all its employees.”