The government of Zimbabwe has agreed to pay the cash bonuses which civil servants in the country are owed.
The payment of the cash bonuses brings an end to the industrial action taken by the civil servants in protest against the government.
“The issue that we were clamouring for, which is the cash payment of bonuses, has been accepted,” said Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.
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This comes as Zimbabwean doctors who had also proceeded on strike to protest low pay and unfavourable working conditions called off their strike on Sunday. The government had approved an increase in their on-call allowances by 72 dollars which makes their allowance stand at $360, $360 dollars short of their request. The doctors had initially requested an increase in the minimum on-call allowance from $288 a month to $720.
“The employer has failed to meet doctors’ demands yet again but we make this huge compromise as a sign of our commitment to greater good,” Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association said in a statement on Saturday.
The government also created 250 jobs to ease the workload of the doctors who complained of being overworked by the government.
The Zimbabwean government had initially offered non-cash alternatives to pay the bonuses. The government had offered to pay in land to which the workers refused, citing that if top government officials are able to live lavishly the government should be able to pay their bonuses in cash.
As confirmed by the public service and labour minister, Prisca Mupfumira, the bonuses will be paid to the army, doctors, and nurses in April while that of the Zimbabwean police will be paid in May, with teachers’ bonuses in June.
Zimbabwe had been unable to pay civil servants their wages due to being cash-strapped. The Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa had previously stated that the government would require $180 million to pay the bonuses.
Last year, a series of protests, including a sit-in staged by the public sector was staged against the current Zimbabwean administration, the ban placed on imports, unemployment, government’s inability to pay civil servants, among other issues suffered by Zimbabweans.