Govt suspends civil servants bonuses

HARARE - Government has suspended civil servants’ bonuses for the years 2015 and 2016 with a possible review in 2017, as the tax base dwindles.

The public sector has even been struggling to pay salaries which gobble up about $260 million a month, at 82 percent of the total budget, which had been paid to the civil service in staggered allocations.

According to minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, the 2014 bonus bill reached up to $172.6 million, which the government still had obligations to finish paying, as it is yet to pay State university staff.

Chinamasa said government no longer had the capacity to pay the bonuses, as it had been difficult to collect taxes from the informal sector where economic activity had now shifted to.

He said he did not want to “bleed” the already depressed formal sector.

“There is an urgent need to create fiscal space to finance the ZimAsset programme (economic blueprint). To achieve this, government has decided to suspend bonus payments to the civil servants in 2015, this year and 2016 and to review the situation in the 2017 budget in the event that the situation reflects that we have built enough capacity to honour those obligations,” Chinamasa announced at a press conference held at ministry of Media — Munhumutapa offices — in Harare yesterday.

“As a way forward, this is a matter that we have taken to Cabinet… Essentially I need to put the money where my mouth is, I have been talking about financing ZimAsset, I have been taking about capital formation, I have been talking about the imbalance in allowing all your revenue going towards consumption. And in view of what I have just said we have been exploring a number of measures to contain government recurrent expenditure and to channel resources to less capital intensive and high impact public sector investment projects.

He said other measures to create fiscal space were being explored adding that the bonus suspension was the solution at the moment as he did not want to increase tax rates to an estimated 400 000 formal work base.

“I am reluctant to use the tax rate that is increasing taxes in order to increase revenues to the fiscus, in fact to do so will be very negative in my view and it’s like trying to squeeze blood from a stone, so I am reluctant to use that route. I would have it that there is growth in the economy so that we can earn more revenue,” Chinamasa said.

He said he had to announce the bonus suspension early to allow for the civil servants to make plans instead of catching them unaware at the end of the year.

Chinamasa, however, said government was paying people to sit in offices.

“Right now you need to understand that when all is said and done we are paying people to sit in their offices because from this when 82 percent is going to wages, you put it in your pocket, you still need money for operations,” said Chinamasa.

Comments (12)

How is this Zimasset going to be financed and how is it going to help the ordinary folk?

pride - 14 April 2015

A clever admission by ZANU PF that they have failed. It started with erratic salary/bonus disbursements; then later shifting of pay dates from the early 20s of the month to the end; here comes the bonus cut; soon a salary cut; then no salary at all. #1980sofarsogood. ZANU PF knows how to manage people, not a country. Here where I stay in the DRC, we started with power cuts on notice by the power utility, then the notices disappeared but we remained with regular power-cuts, then came irregular power-cuts, then came irregular power far spaced in between, then no power. Now we stay in Cherima and very happy about it. We understand the challenges the power utility is facing and the officials are very happy. We were MANAGED. I see country managers in ZANU PF.

Kunda Kinde - 14 April 2015

I hope and pray this will create the said fiscal space that will finance our Zimasset to help the economy grow and help create inflows that will help us pay bonuses for civil servants in 2007.

PETER - 14 April 2015

So finally the government has decided to honour its promise to increase civil servants salaries this way?shame,shame,shame and shame on mugabe and his government.

Matilda - 14 April 2015

Relax guys...LOOK AT TH BIGGER PICTURE, this is part of Mugabe's government's way of creating 2.2 million jobs in the next 5 years. Don't worry evil servants you will get a back pay in 2017, just bfore lections in 2018 by which time ZimAsset will be in full swing...lots of jobs, lots of exports, lots of tourism, lots of forex, two-digit growth, competitive economic environment, good governance, a performing financial sector, cheap goods, clean water back in the pipes, hospitals well stocked and maned, roads in tip-top condition, toll gates up and running, democracy restored and all sell outs locked up. Keep smiling!!!

Garikayi - 14 April 2015

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Chinamasa should resign he has failed big time.When Biti advicesed them to priorities thy laughed

street advicer - 14 April 2015

Kiya kiya Chinamasa is at it again! So bonuses are cancelled for the next two years and will be reintroduced just a few months before the 2018 elections and, no doubt, cancelled again for four years. Well Minister Kiya kiya, you have the by-elections in June, are you sure meant to announce the cancel the bonus before the by-elections after all you still expect these civil servants to help Zanu PF rig elections! You are in a real fix now!

wilbert Mukori - 15 April 2015

ivo vakaguta mabonus kare ,isu hatina basa ,

kudzi gurure - 15 April 2015

Twist of things becoming more hideous each day.God, only you know what you have planned for us

slow poison - 15 April 2015

look now these are the same people who use hold meetings with union leaders telling them BITI does not want with what happened to that money since zanu pf is in control ? people to learn how lies have been said in this country.

godlwayo - 15 April 2015

Sunga njombo tiende kuZANU .VaMugabe chiororo vanosimudzira hurumende yavatema !!! am just singing guys

M15b - 21 April 2015

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