By Thulani Ncube | Nehanda Business |
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has assured civil servants that they will be paid their annual bonuses. This is despite depressed revenue inflows blamed on crooked diamond mining operations leaking millions meant for Treasury.
Addressing a 2013 pre-budget consultative meeting in Bulawayo on Thursday Biti said the coalition government was committed to rewarding its workers even though revenue inflows to Treasury were inadequate.
“Payment of bonuses to our civil servants is guaranteed. We will pay them as usual, but as we did last year, the payment will be staggered. However, you have to understand that it is not easy.
“Our revenue inflows are not good and the budget is underperforming, which is why we had to cut recurrent expenditures from ministries,” he said. Zimbabwe has 235 000 civil servants who get their bonuses at the end of the year.
Two year ago a civil service audit exposed the fact that over 75 000 ghost workers are milking US$20 million every month out of the cash strapped treasury. No action has yet been taken to resolve the scandal.
The majority of ghost workers, mostly untrained and unqualified Zanu PF militias, were hired a few months before the bloody June 2008 one man presidential run-off. In particular, Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere hired 6,861 militias and deployed them countrywide.
Out of nearly 190 000 workers employed in various ministries the report says about 75 000 are ghost workers. In addition, there are 17 088 civil servants with unclear positions in government. Another 1 315 civil servants working without specific duties, while the qualifications of 8 723 could not be verified.
On the day of the audit 13 000 civil servants were said to be absent. Additionally, since the coalition government came into power in 2009, an extra 40,000 civil servants are said to have been employed.
Civil servants have been constantly complaining that their monthly salaries are not adequate and analysts argue it would only be a logical first step to get rid of ghost workers and free up resources to pay genuine workers a proper salary.
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