Zimbabwe’s Government has delivered good news to civil servants concerning the US$75 Covid-19 allowances.
Apex Council secretary David Dzatsunga said that the Government has agreed to extend the US$75 Covid-19 allowances to December this year.
The announcement comes at a time when the Government is meeting with the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) for the finalization of negotiations on the terms of employment, salaries, and wages for civil servants.
In June, the Government introduced US$75 and US$30 Covid-19 relief allowances for civil servants and pensioners respectively. The allowances were expected to be for three months.
Banks opened Nostro accounts for civil servants and pensioners, but the Government indicated that the money would not be withdrawn in physical notes, but would be used through electronic cards that will be used in shops and other outlets with Point of Sale (swipe) machines.
However, banks have not yet furnished civil servants with the Nostro cards to start transacting.
BAZ President Ralph Watungwa said the material to make the cards needs to be imported and it may take up to the end of August for all civil servants to have the cards.
Civil servants and pensioners were forced to liquidate their COVID-19 allowances because banks could not give them debit cards to transact.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) recently announced that pensioners will get foreign currency accounts (FCA) debit cards from their banks soon.
RBZ Governor Dr. John Mangudya told The Sunday Mail that he held a productive meeting with CEOs from various banks who said they would comply with the directive.
It was brought to our attention and we recently met with the CEOs of various banks on the issue and they assured us that pensioners would receive their cards any time from now, as the cards are being imported. We are putting pressure on them to fast-track the process and we are confident that in a week or two the problem will be rectified. We also reiterated to the banks that the service will be free and the cost will be borne by the Government, so pensioners will get their money in full. All banks need to do is to send the invoice to us and we pay.