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Zimbabwe PM Promises to Raise US$300 Million for Civil Servant Bonuses

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told Newsday that money for the bonuses will come from Marange diamond field revenues or other state sources as the government has made a commitment to pay the bonus

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been quoted as saying that his government will raise US$300 million to fund bonuses for civil servants, while distressed private sector firms warn that they cannot give workers' a 13th monthly check.

Mr. Tsvangirai told the independent daily Newsday that money for the bonuses will come from sales of diamonds from the Marange alluvial field in the east of the country, or from other state sources, noting that the government is committed to paying the bonus.

Tendai Chikowore, chairwoman of the Apex Council which negotiates for civil servants, said the government has not informed state workers of any hitches in funding the bonus.

Chikowore said that civil servants are eagerly waiting their thirteenth paycheck. “On Monday we talked to the Minister of Finance about these bonuses and at no stage did he indicate that there are problems in paying the thirteenth check this year,” she said.

Ntombenhle Moyo, chairwoman of the Bulawayo branch of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce said most firms cannot pay bonuses as they are under financial pressure.

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