Bonuses not a priority: Labour minister

HARARE - Paying civil servants their 2015 bonuses is not a priority for government right now, Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira said yesterday.

The Zanu PF legislator’s remarks also come as Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo recently said bonuses — for all workers — were not an entitlement for as long as productivity was low and in a development likely to be seen as an affront to President Robert Mugabe’s populist response to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last year.

“It is a matter of priorities . . . people are starving out there and government has no money, so the priority at the moment is to feed the people,” Mupfumira told the Daily News yesterday, adding  that she was not sure when the bonus money was going to be availed.

“I urge civil servants to be patient because like we said, we are committed to paying because the president said we must and now it’s a matter of when not if. We do not have a date yet because of the other things we are grappling with but Treasury is looking for the money and once it is there, they will be paid. We all need bonus, don’t we?”

However, civil servants have been threatening to go on strike since last year, as government has been telling them that their bonuses would be paid soon. Still, nothing has materialised.

In April last year, 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 mockery of his Treasury chief and expressing disgust at Chinamasa’s announcement. Mugabe said the Finance minister had neither consulted him nor had Cabinet ever discussed the issue.

“I want to make it clear that the report which was in the newspapers that bonuses were being withdrawn is not government policy,” the nonagenarian thundered.

“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.”

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

Teachers and other civil servants had to endure a bleak Christmas last year as they only received their salaries after the festive season.

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

In his April statement, Chinamasa said the government no longer had the capacity to pay bonuses as the State had challenges in collecting taxes, arguing further 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.

In his twitter post, Moyo said: “Well, I’m sympathetic to the view that a bonus should be for extra-performance and not an entitlement!” and “Leaving your jacket in the office to go & booze is not a legitimate basis for expecting bonus as an entitlement!” Moyo wrote on his Twitter account.

Comments (23)

jona usadaro

matotoemheni - 20 January 2016

So how do u plan to feed people when you dont pay them their salaries....withhold salaries and give out food parcels?...what about school fees and rentals...mukwane amai imi

Lloyd - 20 January 2016

These are the results produced by a govt full of morons, they don't understand that it is business in the country that puts money in the govt can you expect the govt to have money when private sector is operating at 10% production? That's kind of like crazy to think the govt of Zimbabwe will have enough money when they have monstrous policies towards business. Ma ministers arikuvhaira netuma company twavo but very soon even their companies are going to close shop as no business will ever survive where the majority have no jobs and where a lot of other companies are closing. Obsolete ideas from obsolete heads. I always say as long as we have these very old people like Mugabe, chinamasa, mnangagwa etc leading us we are doomed as a country.

misty - 20 January 2016

“It is a matter of priorities . . . people are starving out there and government has no money, so the priority at the moment is to feed the people,” really? This lady must be smoking something of late. are they really concerned about feeding the people when they plash $800 000 to celebrate the dictatorship? this is idiotic

chitova - 20 January 2016

Lies lies and lies that is what makes zanu and its govt smell terribly like drunkard ' s urine .Mugabe said noma kanjani zonke govt employees will get bonuses come bonus time This house wife pretending to be minister for workers just trying to defend the habitual liar Mugabe hence she is talking all this nonsense .These are the same people who lied that they will create 2 million jobs and where are those jobs mama as minister of workers ?

Diibulaanyika - 20 January 2016

Zimbabwe should just go back to batter trading. Fees should be paid nembudzi kana mombe depending on how much is required. If you want a bucket of maize you can pay using chickens. This could make life easy for a lot of rural folk.

Madiro Maningi - 20 January 2016

Cappleton 'King Shngo” in his song , Leaders Let the People Down has the following lyrics: All the Leaders Dem are let the People Down Dey always make the people wear a frown. Bigger heads are let de people down. Dem ask the Ghetto youths how me sound. Who dem Bwoy dem really want take fi clown. PROMISE is a comfort to a FOOL. Babylon are say dem ah go build more centers and school. I know me never see ah desk or a pen much less ah school. Ah who dem want fi take fi fool me cant cool. Dem drinking de people blood dem ah blood hound. The lyrics in this song are very true and liberating. I urge all people to listen to conscious reggae music. Politicians are Babylonians and bigger Heads. They always lie to the people and think they are wiser than JAH JAH. But we are “Living in a Small World' and “Dat Day Will Come,” “coz dem no have no love fi mankind”

Cammile Flamarion - 20 January 2016

Imbwa dzevanhu with no morals. Playing God with people's lives. Devils walking the face of this earth with cruelty running in their DNA. Mupfumira one of these days uchamhanya. Senseless bitch. Mwari tibatsireyi.

vongai - 20 January 2016

Zanu pf government should simply liquidate. This is the highest form of gross incompetence. Zanu pf Gvt have failed to manage this country, its still funny its officials still put brave faces in public forums. You can only lie so much. The facts of failure are there.

X-MAN IV - 20 January 2016

This is the second month $49.00 deducted from salaries. If we multiply that in 4 months each civil servant will be paid back their own fundraised income as bonus. Citizens are taken for a ride.

Bangilizwe - 20 January 2016

Sometime ago Tsvangirai achri iye chaiye called for stay away from work by everyone to force the government of Zanu-PF thieves out of office. The result was shocking. Many (especiallythe civil servants) except the courageous nurses did the opposite. Why ? Because most of them are Zanu-PF appointees. I do not understand why they are now crying foul if they if their dear party pays them nothing. Idyayi Zanu-PF yenyu yamaidada nayo ! Masvinura manje but tough lucky its too late.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 20 January 2016

This is a government built on lies and lies alone. Every time they open their mouth to promise something they are lying. How could Mugabe lie to the people that there will be bonuses when he knows that there is no money. The fact is the government is struggling to pay normal salaries because there is no money. How then can someone promise bonuses in that scenario. Where does the money come from when the leader is busy traveling everywhere and spends his holiday in very expensive resorts with his whole family at a time the nation is starving?

Inyika - 20 January 2016

This is not a sudden crash of our economy. Since 2002 companies have been shutting one by one. 2008 on wards all industry started to under go a complete production melt down. A government, anywhere in the world, does not generate wealth. A sober government provides policies and environment for companies and farms to create wealth. Government in turn collects taxes. Collecting taxes is the easier part. Easier but only if companies and farms are productive. Early 2009 Gono and RG Mugabe stole cash in US dollars from most companies bank accounts. One morning the Zim dollars was obviously a heap of worthless notes and the US dollars accounts were raided by these two. From there, how does one do business in such an environment? Where do bonuses come from if companies have been forced to close down due to theft from their bank accounts? Zanu PF have taken all land and are producing nothing. They have destroyed the manufacturing industry. Chinamasa was correct in stating the grim fact that there is no cash. Chanamasa is as much an idiot in that he hangs around a government that feeds a milk cow on sand and hopes to milk the cow. Zanu PF must be destroyed. They are evil!

Mbareboy - 20 January 2016

Mupfumira Public service ministry is you sole mandate, since when are you doubling up to be concerned with issues food security? Leave food security to Made who heads agric. Just tell civil servants whether you re giving them bonus or not..

ziviso muza - 21 January 2016

Mai Mupfumira, your Priority is bonus on this one. Ndiyo nyaya yamurikubhadharirwa iyoyo, kwete zvenyu zvekuti food security izvo.. Izvo siyirai Made izvo, ndiye anofanira kuita Priority ye food.

ziviso muza - 21 January 2016

zviro zviya zvave matengumutinya ngou dzouswa

MATENGU - 21 January 2016

This govt forgot that the private sector is the engine of growth. Now that this engine of growth has collapsed revenue collection has also collapsed. Civil servants are worrying about bonus payments well they should be worried that at this rate govt will eventually fail to pay their monthly pay unless it gets money from unknown sources. Taxing an economy in deflation will not yeild the desired revenue outturns. Every month will be a struggle for govt to find $260 million to pay civil service pay. Treasury can borrow locally for now but that source is drying up soon. Treasury will use crisis management to find money for wages for how long? Obviously something has to give very soon.

David - 21 January 2016

' Paying civil servants their 2015 bonuses is not a priority for government right now, Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira said yesterday." But looting the little that the limping economy struggles to provide is top priority as enshrined in ZimASSET , added the minister in her press briefing.

Mukanya - 21 January 2016

kana moda ma vote edu , muchatipa chete. come 2018

tafadzwa phiri - 21 January 2016

JESUS is the answer for the world today, above him there is no other, Jesus is the way!

ngwenyaz - 21 January 2016

To those of you who are interested in God you will enjoy this ebook Zimbabwe Who Why and What Do You Worship. It explore moves of God during the Church Ages including End Time Message and how they always arrived late in Zimbabwe after revival fire had died down. Also explores ways how Christians can improve situation in Zimbabwe. You can download free by visiting: https(colon forward slash forward slash)areobooksdotcom(forward slash)books(forward slash)181.

Thomas Hushe - 21 January 2016

Iwe Chihure the Home Affairs ministry has a budget for you. You go out on our roads and collect traffic fines which you do not render to Central Revenue. Where does the money go???? Mbavha!!!

Realist - 21 January 2016

izvi zvinonyadzisa please hurumende ipai vanhu pay dzavo. ndanyara suwa. kuti badzi mdc t yangofananawo ne zanu pf. otherwise the credible alternative appears to be people first. this time hama, lets vote people first come 2018.

zvirozviyedzwa - 21 January 2016

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