Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, has ordered the Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and his Public Service Counterpart Prisca Mupfumira, to tell workers when their 2015 bonuses will be ready.
Reports say that Mupfumira told Newsday that President Mugabe gave her till Friday to come up with the date.
It would be recalled that the finance minister had promised to meet the Apex Council on February 10 in order to address challenges facing payment of workers’ salaries. Sometime in December, Apex Council President Richard Gundane called on government and concerned ministries to fulfill their endless promise about paying workers salaries.
“Anxiety levels have reached breaking point. There’s a desperate need for the government to clarify its position with regards to the civil servants’ 13th cheques. We don’t expect them to tell us the same thing over and over again.
“We’re tired of the same promise being made over and over again. It’s high time they told us something different and positive. We want the government to show commitment by giving the exact dates. All the unions are concerned and we’re calling on the government to treat this concern as a matter of urgency,” said Gundane
Buzzsouthafrica gathered that civil servants were due for their bonuses since last December and early January, yet no news or sign of payment has been seen or heard apart from teachers that filled their payslips. Government had earlier promised workers payment immediately January knocks. But up till now there i no sign of it’s happening.
Zimbabwean workers went on Christmas holiday without their salaries. It is so sad that this latest developments mark the first time numerous workers would celebrate Christmas without their salaries. Trade unions in Zimbabwe have also threatened to embark on nationwide strike if government fails to pay workers.
Last Tuesday, Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe gave the government until 15th February to pay civil servants, else members of the union would “flood” Zimbabwean streets in protest. A communique presented by the union reads,
“Thus, as a union, we have given the regime up to February 15, 2016, to sort their mess and pay bonuses to all government workers, cease forthwith the 7,5% pension deduction until salaries are above the poverty datum line and stop implementation of all austerity-related policy positions,” RTUZ said in a statement.
“If these demands are not met by February 15, 2016, we will mobilize our members and fellow workers in the civil service to flood the streets of Bulawayo and Harare on February 26, 2016, and completely shut down the key operations of this government.”
It would be recalled again that teachers got their payslips with the hope to get paid on 28th December. Apex Council chairman Gundane confirmed it when he said,
“The teachers received their payslips confirming that they’ll get their December salaries on December 28. This is an awkward arrangement which has raised serious concern among the educators.” But till now, nothing has been heard about their salaries.
Most workers are not happy with the government. They expressed sadness that the president and his deputies Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa had a luxurious holiday outside the country without paying workers despite deputy president Emmerson Mnangagwa assuring workers of payment.
Some workers have insinuated that workers are being owed because of The Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front ZANU-PF internal party division. Takavafira Zho who is the president of Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe said,
“Civil servants are a nut between crackers. The struggle for power within Zanu PF is taking a toll on us,” Zhou said.
“I don’t believe that government has no money to pay its workers bonuses, but feuding Zanu PF factions are holding on to cash to build a war chest in the post-President Robert Mugabe era.
“There is sabotage within Zanu PF. Factions are competing to anger civil servants, particularly teachers. Unfortunately, the situation has been made worse for the government workers because they are now polarized along Zanu PF factional and political party lines.”
However, Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira said,
“I am going to meet Minister Chinamasa before tomorrow and we will then issue a communique on the matter, which is of concern to the President and Cabinet.
“We are going to discuss the way forward and issue a statement detailing how the matter will be handled.
“As you are aware, the desire to pay is there and we are committed to that. What we have now to agree on is when and this is the meeting we will have with Chinamasa, who is responsible for the country’s Treasury” she said
However, as events unfold, more news about Zimbabwean civil servants would be updated.