Govt confirms civil service bonuses; 13th cheque paid this month

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By Leopold Munhende

THE Government has confirmed payment of civil servants’ bonuses this November after years of staggering the famed 13th cheque.

The army, the air force, the health sector, police and prison officers will get their bonuses on November 28 while the education sector will get theirs the following day.

Finance minister permanent secretary George Guvamatanga confirmed the development.

“You will recall that, through his 2019 National Budget statement, the Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Development, re-affirmed Government’s commitment to honour the 2018 13th Cheque benefit payable to members of the Public Service,”Guvamatanga said in a statement.

“In the same vein, consistent with the focus on enhancing the health of our public finances through institution of various austerity measures, the Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Development advised that the 2018 13th Cheque will be computed based on Basic Salary only (excluding housing and transport allowances,” reads the statement.

One nurse who spoke to said they welcome the decision taken by their employer but were worried that the bonus will be eroded by the prevailing hyper inflationary environment.

“The average amount we will be getting is around $200 which is just about USD50 and might not be enough to shield us from the current economic crisis.

“Although it is better than nothing, we had hoped that the amount will be better than this, we all know that USD50 is not enough even for half of December,” said one nurse who requested that he be identified only as Gwatiringa.

Although Ncube has maintained that the USD and Bond remain at par, the value of the surrogate Zimbabwean currency has plummeted on the black market.

USD100 now gets you around $350 on RTGs or about $325 in Bond notes.

Last week Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) secretary general Enock Dongo made it clear that the 13th cheque was their right and government should pay it as soon as possible.