GOVERNMENT has started paying out bonuses to civil servants with soldiers getting the 13th cheque Thursday amid reports the rest will receive theirs next month.
Several civil servants’ union leaders yesterday confirmed the development.
The union leaders applauded Zanu PF for honouring its pre-election commitment on bonuses.
Soldiers formed long queues at most Harare banks as they rushed to withdraw their windfall.
“Yes, we received our bonuses today (Thursday). We were given double our salaries,” said a senior army officer who declined to be named.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said teachers were expecting to get their bonuses in December.
“I am told soldiers received their bonuses today (yesterday). As for teachers, we usually receive ours in December, which is when we are expecting them,” Majongwe said.
Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Manuel Nyawo applauded government for honouring its pre-election pledge on bonuses.
“We are more than excited because this is the period we have been waiting for.
We wish to applaud government for respecting the tradition of paying bonuses.
We are, however, not sure if they have added a token of appreciation as the minister (Goche) and Civil Service Commission chairperson Mariyawanda Nzuwah said when we met them just after the minister’s appointment,” Nyawo said.
Nyawo added that Goche did not disclose the amount of the token increment, saying he was still consulting with Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association secretary-general Simangaliso Mafa, however, said there was nothing out of the ordinary as it was routine that they would get their bonuses at the end of year.
“It’s not negotiable because we know bonuses are always paid. We received them last year, the year before, we have always been receiving bonuses,” Mafa said.
Although no comment could be obtained from Public Service minister Nicholas Goche as his mobile phone went unanswered, he is on record saying civil servants’ bonuses were a done deal.
“Bonus is our commitment that is not under negotiation. Government has committed itself to review salaries for civil servants before year-end and there is no going back on our commitment,” Goche told NewsDay in a recent interview. “There is a lot of consulting taking place at the moment with various ministries and we will advise you as soon as we have reached a position.”