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Zimbabwe Promises to Pay Agitated Civil Servants' Bonuses

FILE: An unidentified man displays the equivalent of 100 United States dollars on a scale in Harare, Wednesday, March, 5, 2008.

Zimbabwe says all civil servants will get their bonuses before the end of this month despite the current financial challenges in the country.

This comes at a time when nurses, who were supposed to get their 13th cheques last Friday, threatened to go on strike Monday if the bonuses are not paid by Friday.

Mzembi told journalists in the capital city that civil servants in the health sector and grant-aided institutions would be paid their bonuses on January 14th while the rest of the civil servants would get their share on January 23rd.

He said Treasury has advised his ministry to inform civil servants of the bonus payment schedules so that they can plan their finances accordingly.

Mzembi said the payment of the bonuses would not affect the January salaries.

The cash-strapped government, which is struggling to pay workers’ salaries on time, was unable to pay all civil servants’ bonuses last November.

It only managed to pay workers in the security sector while those in the education sector only received their 13th cheques early this week.


Meanwhile, Mzembi who is also the Acting Environment Minister, said the international conservation community must directly engage the Zimbabwean government than to listen to lobby groups that are campaigning against Zimbabwe’s sale of elephants to countries like China.

He said groups leading the lobby have over the years been receiving huge donor funding for conservation when Zimbabwe was under sanctions from the European Union.

He added that all recent elephant exports were conducted in compliance with national and international requirements.

Mzembi noted that this was not the first time Zimbabwe has exported elephants, saying zoos in the developed world like the United States and Europe are holding a significant number of wildlife from Zimbabwe.

He cited zoos in San Diego and Texas in US, The Frankfurt Zoo in German and Western Plains Zoo in Australia as examples.

Mzembi said Zimbabwe had more elephants than it can accommodate and as a result, there is need to export some of them and use resources accrued for conservation.

For example, he said, in the Hwange – Matetsi park there are 53,949 elephants when the complex has a capacity to hold only 15,000.