Cabinet has approved payment of civil servants’ bonuses in cash much to the chagrin of the prophets of doom who were accusing Government representatives of being overzealous when they made the commitment to pay cash last week.
The Government needs an additional $180 million to pay the 2016 bonuses whose payment will be staggered. The first group of workers will be paid next month while the last group will be paid in August. Following the approval by Cabinet, the civil servants are now guaranteed their 13th cheque for 2016.
Government has said as part of efforts to improve conditions of service for civil servants, it is also considering other non-monetary benefits such as residential stands. The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Cde Prisca Mupfumira, said the issue of residential stands will now be handled under the National Joint Negotiating Council, a platform that brings together the Government and civil servants’ unions.
It is a fact that Government will sacrifice other important financial obligations in order to raise the required money to pay the bonuses. This is a demonstration that Government is sensitive to the plight of its workers who should reciprocate by striving to improve service delivery. We are therefore encouraged to learn that civil servants want the issue of bonuses finalised so that they can concentrate on service delivery.
The civil servants play a very critical role in turning around the economy hence the need to ensure they are motivated. The Government through the Office of the President and Cabinet has been harping on the need to enhance ease of doing business and civil servants have to play a leading role if this is to be achieved.
The attitudes of civil servants can either attract or chase away potential investors so it is important for civil servants to appreciate the impact of the services they provide daily.
We want at this juncture to implore civil servants to commit themselves to working towards improving the economy which will then translate into improved working conditions.
An investment boom in the country means increased revenue inflows into Government coffers which enhances its capacity to pay attractive salaries and other benefits.