Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
THE Government has announced the reintroduction of the US$75 a month Covid-19 allowance for all civil servants, while pensioners will get US$30.
President Mnangagwa’s administration introduced the adjustment last year to cushion civil servants and the latest relief will also be extended to contract workers and aides of the visually-impaired.
The US dollar component allowance will be paid in the local currency equivalent at the prevailing formal market rate.
The latest cost of living salary adjustment by the Government will be paid into the bank accounts of public servants starting this month, while aides of the visually-impaired will get theirs backdated to June 1, 2020.
The old allowance was converted to salaries.
The adjustments are interim steps taken by the Government to cushion its employees during ongoing disruptions caused by Covid-19.
Public Service Commission (PSC) Secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe announced the news in a statement yesterday.
He said in September last year the Government had extended payment of Covid-19 allowances up to December, but said the relief measure was returning.
“In light of the surge in Covid-19 cases in Zimbabwe, Government has, with effect from January 2021, further extended payment of Covid-19 allowances to members of the Public Service, pensioners, contract workers in various line ministries and aides of the visually-impaired,” reads part of the statement.
“Members of the Public Service, including contract workers and aides of the visually-impaired will be paid the local currency (ZW$) equivalent of US$75, while pensioners will get the local currency (ZW$) equivalent of US$30.
“Payment will be made in ZW$ at the prevailing auction rate on the date of payment. Payment of the (ZW$) equivalent of US$75 to contract workers and aides of the visually-impaired will be back dated to 1 June 2020,” said Ambassador Wutawunashe.
He said the allowance will be extended indefinitely depending on the availability of funds and the duration of the pandemic.
The respiratory illness is unyielding, having infected over 20 000 people in Zimbabwe, and its introduction is likely to motivate frontline workers who have led the country’s response with patriotism.
“The duration of this extension will be guided by the status of the pandemic as well as budgetary capacity,” said Ambassador Wutawunashe.
For frontline workers, the Government has made several commitments which include taking care of those infected in the line of duty.
The families of those who die after testing positive will be looked after, on top of getting the normal benefits associated with their service, their families are now entitled to a full year’s salary.