Soldiers to get bonuses first, others later


Public Service Minister Prisca Mupfumira

THE government will pay bonuses to the army, police this month and stagger payments for the rest of the civil service, a cabinet minister has said.

Earlier this year Finance Mminister Patrick Chinamasa announced that the annual bonus would no longer be paid to the 500,000 civil servants as the government struggles with its .

The minister said government needed to cut down its wage bill which is taking up more than 80 percent of revenues.

Chinamasa was however, publicly reprimanded by President Robert Mugabe who overturned the decision.

“Nothing has changed from the statement made by His Excellency, President Mugabe, in April; we stand guided by that.

“Yes, we are facing financial problems, but we have to work out ways of making sure that our workers smile,” Public Service Minister Prisca Mupfumira told state media Sunday.

Mupfumira said government would first pay the army and the police.

“The uniformed forces will get their bonuses in November,” she said.

“For the other civil servants, the proposal is that we stagger payment because we don’t have the money to pay everyone at once.

“The proposal will be brought before Cabinet most likely on Tuesday, after which we will be in a position to announce the actual dates of payment.”

Union leaders however, expressed concern over the decision to stagger payments for the rest of the service.

“Our expectations are that we must get our bonuses at the end of each year. It’s our entitlement,” said Apex Council head Richard Gundani.

“So, it’s a good and welcome development that what the President assured us is becoming reality.

“What I would, however, like to implore Government to do is to make sure it covers everyone in November and December 2015. While we are not threatening any action, we hope bonus payment will not spill into 2016.

“In planning the 2016 National Budget, Government should include civil servants’ bonuses so that we won’t have to discuss bonuses again towards the end of the year like we are doing now.”

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