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Mugabe's Promise to Pay Workers' Bonuses Likely to Anger IMF

FILE: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses people gathered for his 91st birthday celebration in Victoria Falls, Feb. 28, 2015.

President Robert Mugabe’s decision to reverse an earlier decision by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa to stop bonus payments for civil servants has baffled many economic analysts and is set to jeopardize ties with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

For years, the two institutions have been urging Harare to reduce its wage bill.

Chinamasa cited lack of fiscal space as the reason to suspend payment of bonuses for two years, but he was publicly humiliated by Mr. Mugabe, forcing him to reverse his decision.

But economists are warning that the cash-strapped government will find it difficult to fulfill this commitment.

Some economists though say the 13th check is important in stimulating the economy. To discuss this issue, Studio 7 reached secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Raymond Majongwe, and economist Washington Mehlomakhulu, who said Chinamasa is in a fix.

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