Source: Govt unable to pay bonuses – DailyNews Live January 26, 2017
HARARE – Cash bonuses for civil servants will no longer be paid this year
because government has no money, with restive unions threatening
This emerged at a meeting between government and civil servants’
representatives yesterday to discuss their welfare.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John
Mangudya and Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira (pictured) told
civil servants that government could only afford to pay them using
residential stands and other non-monetary benefits, an offer rejected by
“We presented civil servants with three options in the fruitful meeting we
had, so they will go and consult with their stakeholders while we also
consult further,” Mupfumira told journalists after the meeting.
She added that the two parties will meet again towards the end of
Although Mupfumira described the meeting as “fruitful”, civil servants
came out of the indaba seething with anger, accusing government of
insincerity and threatening industrial action.
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz), whose membership
has been on a go-slow since the beginning of the term in protest over the
delay in bonus payments, described the meeting as a damp squib.
Artuz secretary-general Robson Chere described Chinamasa’s offer as “vague
and dubious”. He said teachers were already negotiating, on their own,
with various local authorities for residential stands.
“Artuz will urgently serve the Public Service Commission with notification
to go on strike within 14 days if government does not release dates for
bonus payments,” Chere said.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Raymond Majongwe said:
“…civil servants have suffered enough and we cannot accept being told
that we have to wait when we are witnessing the levels of opulence being
exhibited in government.
“We are not going to accept a situation where we are asked to forego
“We are going to further consult but our position is not going to change
and we are united in our demands but we know there are a few of us who
would want to side with government.
“They risk being rejected by their membership because all of us as civil
servants are all agreed on our position.”
Speaking to the Daily News on the sidelines of Mupfumira’s press briefing,
Zimbabwe Rural Teachers’ Union (ZRTU) said while it appreciates the
efforts by their employers, the proposals government was tabling were
“We are going to consult our membership but obviously we will be digging
our own graves to ask our bitter members to accept any offer that does
make them smile all the way to the bank,” ZRTU deputy president Gibson
Mushangu said, adding that teachers wanted government to pronounce
payment dates “and nothing else.”
In a leaked document showing 2017 National Budget pressure points that
Chinamasa circulated to all stakeholders attending the meeting, the
Treasury chief said government’s total expenditure demands stand at $942,5
In respect of employment cost arrears, government owes $352,1 million,
$69,9 million arrears for December 2016 wage
Chinamasa also revealed that government owed service providers such as
Premier Service Medical Aid Society ($8,9 million) National Social
Security Authority (Nssa $173,1m) dating back to September 2013, while
another $180 million is owed in respect of last year’s bonuses among a
series of other arrears.
The public sector wage bill currently accounts for over 80 percent of
To manage the fiscal pressures, government has resolved to pay civil
servants almost every week and in order of priority since the beginning of