Mthuli Orders Banks To Stop Deducting Civil Servants Bonuses

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By Alois Vinga

FINANCE Minister, Mthuli Ncube has ordered banks to pay civil servants their 13th cheques in foreign currency, and not to deduct cash from their transactions.

The Treasury boss said it had come to his attention some banks were compulsorily liquidating civil servants 13th cheque payments, and forcing them to convert their foreign currency into Zimbabwe dollars.

“As of 30 November 2021, bonus payments in foreign currency have been effected for all civil servants and pensioners through their banks,” Ncube, in a statement Friday, said.

“However, it has come to the attention of Treasury that some banks are compulsorily liquidating civil servants bonus payments and thereby forcibly paying them in domestic currency.

“Banks have resorted to making arbitrary charges against the bonus payments with some taking significant portions of the wages in the form of bank charges. Both above practices take away the intended benefits of the bonus payments and we therefore wish to advise as follows:

  1. All civil servants should be allowed to withdraw their bonus payments in full in United States dollars.
  2. Such bonus payment amounts are to be made in fill without deduction or levy.
  3. Government and banks will agree a structure for bank charges for these specific amounts which charges must be kept to a minimum.”

Ncube also appealled to implement the bonus payments smoothly as some people are sleeping outside banking halls and spend the next day waiting in long winding queues.

Information Ministry secretary Nick Mangwana added: “Dear fellow civil servant, 1 – Banks have no right to force you to liquidate your USD bonus into domestic currency. If you want it in forex hard cash, get it in that medium. 2 – No bank charge deductions should be effected against your forex bonus.”

He also blamed sanctions imposed by the West against Zimbabwe 20 years ago for the long queues .

These queues speak to a need to have a banking system fit for the 21st Century. This doesn’t work. But with Sanctions saddling us, it remains a mammoth task, but tinokunda regardless.