Treasury releases US$120m for bonuses

Source: Treasury releases US$120m for bonuses | The Herald

Treasury releases US$120m for bonuses
Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube

Bulawayo Bureau

About US$120 million was released by Government to pay civil servants’ bonuses in foreign currency, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said last week as a move to help protect the bonus payments from inflation..

Civil servants started withdrawing their bonuses last week with the highest paid Government employee getting US$700.

Those on pay scales requiring more than US$700 were getting the balance in local currency.

Government last week warned banks, after reports that some were trying to force account holders to convert their bonuses to local currency, that all civil servants should be allowed to withdraw their United States dollar bonus payments in full subject only to daily cash withdrawal limits set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

In an interview last Friday, Prof Ncube said while bonus was paid in foreign currency, Government will continue to pay salaries in local currency.

“In terms of the civil servants’ bonuses for this year we basically released about US$120 million. We hope this will go a long way in dealing with inflationary pressures they are facing. This is the decision of the President to deal with those inflationary pressures. Inflation has been ticking up so we just want to make sure that they are protected from this inflation.

“So, we thought that it would be a good idea to certainly pay them in US dollars. This also covers pensioners, as well as war veterans,” said Prof Ncube.

Prof Ncube said the payments of bonuses in foreign currency is just a one-off gesture from President Mnangagwa to protect them from rising costs.

“This is a once off gesture from His Excellency, just to deal with inflationary pressures that we saw emerging in this last quarter. We will continue to pay our normal salaries in Zimbabwe dollars,” said Prof Ncube. The money was available for the one off since Zimbabwe generates more foreign currency than it spends.