THE Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Prisca Mupfumira says there is no need for civil servants to panic and demand official communication as there are no changes to the Government’s communication regarding their salaries, salary dates and bonuses.
She reassured the public service workers that the Government was working on improving their conditions of service but appealed to pensioners to be patient as the Government was putting in place mechanisms to ensure they were also paid on time.
In an interview on Friday, Minister Mupfumira said the Government was not going to communicate in any other formal way other than the way it was engaging civil servants. Her comments come in the wake of demands by civil servants representatives for the Government to communicate its pledge not to cut their salaries as well as its commitment to pay their bonuses.
“We have always been communicating with the representatives of the civil servants in almost everything we do. They know our position very well and we have been engaging them. We do not want them to lag behind in information concerning them.
For now the position announced by the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Dr Christopher Mushohwe is still unchanged.
“We are even working as Government to ensure their conditions of service are improved. They know everything, there is nothing really new to communicate to them either formally or informally as there is no change to the position recently announced,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira said she spoke the civil servants prior to Finance Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa’s announcements in his Mid–Term Fiscal Policy Review statement that civil servants’ bonuses would be suspended for two years while their salaries and allowances would be reduced as part of a raft of measures to get back the national economy on track.
Minister Mupfumira said civil servants were aware of the Government’s position with regards to their welfare and salaries and there was no need to panic. As for the pensioners, she said Government was behind in paying them but said there was no deliberate policy to do so.
This was in response to concerns raised by some pensioners who told Sunday News that they have been asked to re-register for their pension benefits especially those who are getting pension benefits for their deceased spouses.
“I may not be aware of the nitty-gritties of what is going on with pensioners. I will need time to find out on that. What I can tell you confidently is that we are behind in terms of payments. You may be aware that there has not been any pension contribution since the introduction of dollarisation. We only started it in October last year. This means that the pensioners were being paid from the wage bill thereby constraining it.
“We have no money but we are beginning to boost the pension fund through pension contributions so that pensioners are removed from the civil service wage bill and get their money from the pension fund. We cannot, however, pay the traditional lump sum as there is currently no money for that. We urge the pensioners to be patient,” said Minister Mupfumira. sunday news