Zimbabwe's Treasury is scrambling to raise US$32 million to pay an annual bonus to civil servants next month amid strike threats from unions if the bonus is not forthcoming.
Sources said only US$15 million has been secured thus far from diamond sales to pay the so-called 13th month as a morale-booster for mostly low-paid civil servants.
The sources said the government might not be able to pay the bonuses without a further injection of funds from the Marange diamond field.
Harare already faces a US$700 million budget deficit
Tendai Chikowore, chairwoman of the APEX Council which represents civil servants in negotiations with the government said state workers are expecting the bonus.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe General Secretary Raymond Majongwe said civil servants will go on strike if the government fails to deliver bonuses.
Commentator Masimba Kuchera said government must tap diamond revenues to pay bonuses. “We expect government to source funding for bonuses without fail because Zimbabwe is soon expected to hold national elections,” he said.