Broke Mugabe govt toils to pay bonuses

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s populist promise to civil servants earlier this year that they would be paid end-of-year bonuses no matter what happened, and notwithstanding the State’s ever-dwindling revenues, is coming back to haunt his cash-strapped government.

Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that the uniformed forces who were scheduled to start receiving their bonuses last month had not been paid their dues because of a lack of funds.

She also said that she was not sure when the money for bonuses was going to be made available by the fiscus — although she reiterated the government’s commitment to fulfil Mugabe’s promise.

“We are going with what the president said that government workers will get bonuses. Unfortunately, our cash inflows have not improved and so we could not pay the money in November.

“As it is, I am not in a position to answer the when part of your question because we have not received information from Treasury that cash inflows have improved. So, the best person to answer that is the Finance minister,” Mupfumira said.

In April this year, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa — whose pragmatic approach to his work has won him wide praise — announced that the government had suspended civil servants’ bonuses until 2017, owing to the country’s shrinking tax base.

But barely a week later, Mugabe reversed the decision, making a fool of his Treasury chief and expressing disgust at Chinamasa’s announcement — adding that he had neither been consulted nor had Cabinet ever discussed the issue of the suspension of bonuses.

“I want to make it clear that the report which was in the newspapers that bonuses were being withdrawn is not government policy. The Cabinet did not approve that at all and the presidency was never consulted on the matter.

“We were never consulted the three of us, that is myself and the two vice presidents and we say that is disgusting to us and it will never be implemented at all,” the nonagenarian thundered.

Later, Mupfumira announced that the government would stagger the bonus payments, with the uniformed forces supposed to have received their money last month.

However, with a fortnight to go before the end of the year, that has not happened, amid revelations that the government is stone broke and struggling to raise December salaries for all civil servants, including teachers.

According to the government’s pay schedule for this month, teachers face a bleak Christmas as they are only going to receive their salaries after the festive season.

“We have nothing to celebrate on December 25 because we are only going to get our salary after Christmas, on the 28th, and faced with such a situation it would be foolhardy for us to even talk about a bonus.

“We are powerless and we cannot do anything but suffer in silence,” a teacher based in Mashonaland East Province lamented yesterday.

The government has for a long time been struggling to pay its salaries bill which gobbles up to $260 million a month, constituting about 82 percent of its total budget.

In his April statement, Chinamasa correctly said the government no longer had the capacity to pay bonuses as the State had challenges in collecting taxes, arguing further then that paying bonuses would mean “bleeding” the already depressed formal sector.

“I am reluctant to increase 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,” Chinamasa said.

Comments (13)

there is no fiscus to talk about dear minister. the country is unproductive at the minute and therefore broke. get the industry going before making promises.

taurai - 15 December 2015

The govt should be creative and find money to pay these bonuses. Better still why not pay these bonuses,wages and pensions in kind or in bond coins? The govt finds money to buy companies, assume debts, travel abroad etc and yet they are failing to pay wages, bonuses and pensions? Govt's priorities are just upside down!

Victor - 15 December 2015

That is your so called "government", which needs its own definition. For me it is not a government, it is a group of mischievous people masquerading as a government. That is the reason why they are self serving; that is the reason why they think they own both the country and its people; that is the reason why they are accountable to themselves and no one else; that is the reason why they take everyone else for granted except themselves; that is the reason why they loot to the extend that they take looting as a new norm; that is the reason why they take corruption is their new standard of living; and that is the reason why they promote chaos, so that they remain presiding over an archaic system. Obviously, even a fool can tell that this is not sustainable by any imagination. Time will tell.

Zvichapera - 15 December 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen hapana chisingaperi. Even those boasting kuti ZANU PF haiperi they know that hapana chisingaperi. Remember Benito from Italy, Hitler from Germany, Pharo from Egypt and nearer home Smith and Banda of Malawi. Surely there is time for everything. THIS IS THE ONLY TRUE PROPHESY. That Musangano waparara even if people want to hide the fierce fights in the party. The end is here. No Bonus for the security what a wake up call for our friends who for long have been fooled by the regime. Guys welcome to reality. The long years of repression when you were used to silence the rest of us have culminated in this. Its sad but real government has no money and only those you see with fat stomachs and balloned necks on TV have something to talk about. That is why they think the party will not collapse

BONUS - 15 December 2015

The Mugabe government really needs to grow up. Mature people (and countries) don't whine, and expect handouts.

david taylor - 15 December 2015

The govt is broke finish and klaa and if anyone is till thinking they will get bonuses from a govt that is running a country on a budget smaller than that one of Pick and pay then that person is saskum.Mugabe govt is like a dead donkey a dead donkey is a dead donkey it will never rise from the dead and be used to pull the plow and walk in the follow never that will never happen zanu yena file .and bolile kkkk .Next time civil workers must learn to see political gimmicks and stop being fooled by a 91 year old person who is half dead kkkkkkkkk .hawu serious mani wake up guys and forget about bonuses

Diibulaanyika - 15 December 2015

FYI

jj mtupa - 16 December 2015

The situation about bonuses,confirms Mr. Patric Chinamas's statement in the newspapers that he was unable to pay those bonuses untill 2017.

Joel Charamba - 16 December 2015

kkkkkkkkkk @diibulainyika wandiuraya nekuseka. I guess it makes sense for the civil workers to prepare for a xmas without money. its very sad.

taurai - 16 December 2015

Fund raising money for a void congress in Victoria falls why not fund raise for Civil Servants salaries and bonusses . People should be forced to donate towards salaries of civil servants not a mere party/ congress meant to fire TEAM LACOSTE. MUTSVANGWA IS GONE , WADJAJENA SADZA GONE NW WE REMAIN WITH GRACE AND JONA. TONGAI TIONE

FONGOLOGY - 16 December 2015

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