In an interview with NewsDay, Biti maintained that giving civil servants bonuses will not alleviate their suffering as they are already being paid “nothing”. He said:
The Professor is mad. He needs mental examination. He can’t say thanks to austerity he will be paying a bonus when civil servants were actually getting bonuses all along.
There is no bonus as long as he is paying them in devalued local currency. It’s nothing. If you add nothing to nothing, you get nothing. The only way to adequately compensate workers is to pay them in US dollar. You can’t pay people inflation.
Minister Ncube made the announcement on Twitter where he seemed to credit austerity measures for the government’s ability to pay its workers a 13th cheque.