Civil servants and civil service pensioners will be paid their bonuses in foreign currency this year, a senior government official has confirmed.
Permanent Secretary for Finance and Economic Development George Guvamatanga revealed that civil servants will be paid their bonuses in foreign currency up to a maximum of US$700 and civil service pensioners will receive bonus payments of US$100 plus an extra US$80 for spouses.
Confirming the development in an interview with State media on Thursday night, Guvamatanga said those civil servants with pay scales requiring more than US$700 will get the balance in local currency. He said:
It is true that we are paying bonuses in US dollars. It is a once-off gesture by the President to civil servants and pensioners.
A letter signed by Guvamatanga and addressed to the secretary to the Public Service Commission Jonathan Wutawunashe, acting executive director Health Services Board Angelbert Mbengwa, and Judicial Service Commission secretary Walter Chikwana read:
Guided by the developments in the market and taking into account the plight of workers and the need to cushion members from the adverse effects of fluctuations in exchange rates and also taking into account the proactive initiative by Government, Treasury advises that the 2021 13th cheque be paid in foreign currency (US dollars) at 100 per cent of the pensionable emoluments, capped at a maximum of US$700 whilst those with pay scales exceeding the balance of the 13th cheque will be payable in local currency.
In light of the foregoing, it is recommended that pensioners be equally cushioned on the basis of the following flat, once-off amount per each category: own right US$100, spouse US$80, child US$60.
The three officers were expected to work out what was required in each sector so that Treasury could make the preparations.
Guvamatanga said engagements with workers around the bonus offer should commence so that it is not seen as an imposition, but shows the consultative and negotiated process that the Government believes in.
He added that engagements with banks must also start now to ensure a smooth flow of payments.
Recently, the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA), released a statement demanding payment of bonuses in forex.