WASHINGTON DC —
Most workers in the private sector say employers have not yet paid them annual bonuses due to the poor performance of the economy resulting in low production in all sectors.
The workers say they have been informed by company executives that this issue will be reviewed sometime next year as the economy appears to be going down following the resounding victory of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party in the disputed July elections.
The government last year pegged the bonus-free tax threshold at $1,000. Some civil servants, including teachers, are yet to receive their annual bonuses, which the cash-strapped Harare is staggering. Members of the armed forces got their bonuses this month.
Bulawayo worker Percy Mcijo, who is also a representative of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in Matabeleland region, said employers appear to have no choice on bonuses.
Retail operator Isaac Mabuka said it is impossible to pay bonuses as people do not have disposable income to buy various goods.
The economy continues to face challenges such as erratic power supplies, liquidity constraints, depressed industrial capacity, among other issues.
The country missed its third quarter revenue target of $905 million owing to the depressed economy. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority recently said it collected $897 million between July and September against a target of $905 million.
It attributed the shortfall to company closures and firms that are scaling down due to lack of capital to revamp operations.
The country’s economy is expected to grow by 3.4 percent this year, down from earlier projections of 5 percent. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is set to present the country’s annual budget next month.