Instead he is reported as saying: “I feel that we need to walk the talk. In the previous budgets we have said we will do something about making sure that we deal with this issue of freezing non-critical posts, enforcing retirement policy….
“And the bonus, you know, should not be an entitlement, but it should be within affordable levels. So, I won’t say what will happen with bonus this year yet, but you can be sure that we are going to do something that will be a thank you to those who have worked so hard through the year, but at same time cognisant of the need to tighten our belts.”
This was not an assurance that every civil servant would get a bonus unless Ncube is put under pressure to pay the bonus as his predecessor Patrick Chinamasa was forced to.
Ncube has also departed from what former President Robert Mugabe argued. Ncube says the bonus is not an entitlement. Mugabe said it was a right. But the critical factor, according to Ncube is have they worked hard throughout the year to deserve a thank you?
Zimbabwe’s budget deficit last year was $1.4 billion. It is expected to double to $2.9 billion this year.
Mthuli Ncube and his permanent secretary George Guvamatanga have insisted that the deficit should be reduced from 11 percent of gross domestic product to 4 percent next year.
They must walk the talk.
In fact civil servants must now work to earn their salaries. If should not just be a case of getting rid of ghost workers. Yes, this is critical, but those civil servants who remain on the job must work.