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Government has shifted the 2015 bonus payments for members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police to today and that of health workers and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services to next Thursday, Finance
Minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday.

Members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, those from Prisons and Correctional Services and the health sector were supposed to receive their bonuses yesterday.

In a statement last night, Minister Chinamasa said bonus payment dates for the education sector and the rest of the civil service remain at April 30 and May 31, 2016 respectively.

“As previously communicated, Government is paying the 2015 bonus payments on a staggered basis with the first instalment having been made end February 2016. The next proposed payment is for end March 2016.

“In this regard, 2015 bonus payments for members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police are being made tomorrow, 1 April 2016,” said Minister Chinamasa.

He said the shift in dates was meant to mobilise additional resources for payment of the bonuses.

“To allow for mobilisation of additional resources, 2015 bonus payments to members of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and staff under the Health Sector will be made on Thursday 7 April, 2016.

“The 2015 bonus payment dates for the education sector and the rest of the civil service remain as previously communicated that is 30 April, 2016 and 31 May, 2016 respectively,” he said.

Announcing the bonus payment dates earlier in the month, Minister Chinamasa said due to cash flow challenges, a once off payment was impossible hence the decision to stagger the bonuses.

“For the benefit of the public and other relevant stakeholders, I wish to advise that the Government remains committed to honouring its 2015 bonus obligations to its employees. As you are already aware, the
Government is experiencing cash flow constraints, which makes it untenable to effect a bullet payment.

“To allow room to mobilise the required resources, the Government will be staggering the payment of bonuses for public servants beginning this month until May 2016,” Minister Chinamasa was quoted as saying last month.

Of late, Government has been staggering bonuses due to cashflow challenges and some workers received their 13th cheque as late as January instead of the traditional November.

Due to tight fiscal space, Minister Chinamasa had early last year contemplated suspending payment of bonuses for 2015 and 2016 to create space for funding Zim-Asset.

The move irked civil servants and President Mugabe overturned the suspension saying when the Government bestows a benefit on civil servants, that benefit cannot be withdrawn because it has become a right.

At least 83 percent of Government revenue is gobbled by salaries, a development that stifles economic growth.

The Government has come up with a number of strategies to reduce the wage bill and is rationalising the civil service following an audit carried out last year by the Civil Service Commission.

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