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Zimbabwe Civil Servants Express Skepticism Over Bonus Payment Promises

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Civil servants had threatened to strike this month over unpaid bonuses

Civil servants had threatened to strike this month over unpaid bonuses

Some organizations representing civil servants have expressed skepticism over reports that the government will pay outstanding 2015 bonuses starting this month up to May this year.

In a statement, the Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe viewed the move as a major victory against the government, which it had given up to the middle of this month to pay the bonuses or face industrial action.

“This is welcome progress but we still wait for actual dates to be pronounced and the use of proper channels in communicating this government position,” read the statement.

But Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said there was nothing to celebrate as they were entitled to the bonuses.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted by the state-controlled Herald newspaper as saying that soldiers will get bonuses this month, followed by members of the police force, prison services and the health sector.

Teachers are expected to be paid bonuses in April with the rest of the civil servants getting share in May.

The Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe's concerns were echoed by Cecilia Alexander, president of the Public Service Association, who said they were not sure whether to celebrate or not because the government has not officially presented any bonus payment plans to state workers.

“We are just reading it from the newspapers, just like anybody. We feel that the government should use proper channels to communicate with us.” Alexander said.

She said there is the tripartite negotiating forum, the National Joint Negotiating Council, where the government can officially present them with such issues instead of rushing to the media first.