Bonus for chiefs, civil servants: Payment modalities to avoid run on banks

GOVERNMENT will start paying civil servants and its pensioners annual bonuses this week on a staggered basis with traditional leaders and their messengers getting the 13th cheque for the first time.

Recently, Government assured public sector workers that their bonuses are guaranteed and has pledged to continue improving their conditions of service in tandem with the economic growth momentum.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo said rewarding Government workers through bonuses is important so as to inspire confidence in them as they play a key role in economic development.

“For the economy to grow those who work in the public service must give total service to grow the economy,” he told Chronicle in an interview yesterday. 

“So, when you reward these and you are still not crowding out the private sector and you are not consuming too much, it means you are making the economy grow. Public servants are important to our economy and we must reward them.”

In a circular to heads of relevant departments, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Permanent Secretary, Mr George Guvamatanga, said as per tradition, the Government will pay bonuses to its workers. 

“In line with the established tradition and in recognition of the efforts of public service workers, Government has approved a bonus award for public service employees and traditional leaders,” he wrote. 

“The approved bonus award, which is payable in the respective currencies for the public service is as follows: 100 percent bonus on pensionable emoluments in line with the Civil Service Key Scale (basic salary, in service allowance and administration allowance) payable in local currency, from grade B to E. A flat US$300 from grade B to E payable in hard currency.”

The  permanent secretary said chiefs and headmen together with their messengers will also be rewarded the 13th cheque.

He said a chiefs will receive a US$300 bonus and ZWL$337 256 in local currency, headmen US$210 and ZWL$168 628, village head US$100 and ZWL$84  314, chiefs’ messenger US$100 and ZWL$42  157, and headman’s messenger getting US$100 and ZWL$31 618.

Mr Guvamatanga said pensioners will get US$100 but if the claimant is the spouse, they will be paid US$80 and US$50 if the beneficiary is the child.

He said the payment will be staggered between November and December and received when employees receive salaries.

“To ease pressure on cash flows the bonus will be paid in two equal instalments in November and December 2023 across all sectors,” said Mr Guvamatanga. 

“You may proceed to work on the modalities to facilitate the payments in November and December 2023. Please note that the payments should be made concurrently with the monthly salaries each sector. Please be guided accordingly.”

By awarding bonuses to the public sector, Minister Moyo clarified that this will not create a consumptive public sector but leaves room to grow the economy. 

He said the private sector should also honour their workers, taking a leaf from the Government.

“To incentivise them (workers) is good for the economy and in many countries, it also gives discipline that is required by the private sector because they should take a cue from what the Minister of Finance (Prof Mthuli Ncube) has done because he has looked at all the economic issues,” said the minister. 

Professor Mthuli Ncube

“Looking at the salaries and wages, it now means we are now moving together, we are not leaving anyone behind but at the same time we are not overpaying people because the economy will slow down.”

Minister Moyo said traditional leaders also deserve the 13th cheque for the role they play in advancing the country’s development agenda, especially in rural areas.

“The President understands the role of traditional leaders. If you look at the job description of a village head for instance, he/she has 21 duties that are assigned to him, when you think of it, whether you are doing drought relief, you have to work with a village head, whether you are doing Pfumvudza/Intwasa, you are dealing with a village head, it could be court cases in order to maintain discipline among our communities, you have to deal with village head and you have to deal with chieftaincies,” he said.

“In fact, our system is such that a village head is almost a full employee, every day they look after the judiciary system of their area, they look after the implementation of Government programmes.

“They are really an arm of the rulership of this country. So, when you are now giving to others, you can’t ignore them.”

Civil servants’ bodies said the bonus issue was discussed following a National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting held last Friday. The Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) president Mrs Cecilia Alexander said the bonus should be paid as 100 percent of one’s total earnings in both US dollar and local currency.

“All the civil servants will receive their 2023 annual bonus in two parts starting from the month of November and then December respectively on their pay dates,” she said.

Mrs Alexander said the meeting also deliberated on the clothing allowances for non-uniformed members, job evaluation and regrading of all civil servants and proposed quarterly remuneration review.

She said employees also lobbied for the allocation of a US$80 allowance to be extended to all employees as paid to teachers. She said employees also worked on the establishment of a roadmap towards the set targets as presented by the workers in their position papers.-@nqotshili

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