THE Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa yesterday assured civil servants that they will be paid their 2017 bonus beginning in 2018, with $176 million set aside for the 13th cheques and other national programmes.
However, the bonus payments will be staggered.
“We have made a commitment to pay civil servants their 2017 bonuses in 2018 but these will be staggered as before,” said Minister Chinamasa while presenting the 2018 National Budget in Parliament.
He said Treasury has set aside $176 million for the payment of the 2017 13th cheque.
“Treasury will, therefore, honour the commitment already made to pay the 2017 13th cheques, but in a staggered manner. The programming of the above commitment during the first half of 2018 will be guided by revenue inflows, taking account of cash flow requirements of other national programmes, such as the general elections,” said Minister Chinamasa
The assurance by Minister Chinamasa brings relief to anxious civil servants who had not received any communication from the new Government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa regarding their bonus payments for 2017.
Government workers received their 2016 bonuses this year in batches between April and August.
The 13th cheques come at a time when Government is rationalising the civil service in an effort to reduce the wage bill.
Although Minister Chinamasa did not announce the dates for the payments, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare recently indicated that they will be paid within a shorter period.
Minister Chinamasa added that the policy on the freezing of vacant posts in the public service has greatly assisted in containing the wage bill and assisting towards efforts to re-orient budget expenditures.
In his inauguration speech, President Mnangagwa warned civil servants against sitting on their jobs, saying his administration requires hard workers with each and every one expected to execute their duties efficiently.
He told civil servants to roll up their sleeves in readiness to deliver as the country has an economy to recover and a people to serve.
The President said days of absenteeism and desultory application, unduly delaying and forestalling decisions and services in the hope of extorting dirty rewards were over.
All offices, President Mnangagwa added, must speedily answer questions and generate solutions awaited by citizens or well-meaning outsiders who want to join in the recovery of the country’s economy.