HARARE – Public Service Minister Patrick Zhuwao says he will announce dates for the payment of bonuses to civil servants tomorrow as well as the method of payment.
He told the Sunday Mail that “all documentation is ready about bonuses, and the dates, but I cannot give you the dates from my head. This is substantial information that cannot be said off-head. It has to be announced with correct details.”
The Sunday Mail did not ask whether Zhuwao was revising the dates because his predecessor Prisca Mupfumira announced in September that bonuses for civil servants will be paid from February next year and will be staggered.
Mupfumira told The Herald: “We don’t have money, most companies are not paying bonuses, but we believe we have to appreciate the work being done by our workers. We have to look for the money. We are committing that bonuses will be paid.”
The government started paying bonuses for last year in April this year with the last batch being paid in July.
Former Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa had argued against payment of bonuses because the government had no money but President Robert Mugabe insisted that the bonuses must be paid because civil servants were entitled to the 13th cheque.
Civil servants’ salaries gobble more than 90 percent of government expenditure and this year they have forced the government to overspend by more $1.4 billion.
Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo said this year’s budget deficit is projected at $1.82 billion up from the estimated $400 million.
He said this was not only unsustainable but undesirable. But with the current turmoil within the government and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, the government is likely to pump out more money to placate the civil servants, especially the security forces.
The bonuses might therefore actually be paid before the end of this year, creating more money from nothing.
Zimbabwe is already on record as being the only country in the world to trash two currencies within a decade.
It trashed its own Zimbabwe dollar and has now trashed the United States dollar.
Official inflation is reported to be about one percent but analysts using the Old Mutual Implied Rate, which is the difference between the share price of Old Mutual on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and that on the London Stock Exchange, say inflation is over 300 percent.
The country’s biggest supermarket chain, OK says in its latest financial results its own internal inflation rate for September was at 7.69 percent against the official 0.78 percent.
ZANU-PF is likely to throw caution out of the window as it tries to win the 2018 elections especially because of the turmoil within the party itself and the worsening economy. – Insider