Herald Reporter
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa says the payment of bonuses to civil servants puts a strain on other Government obligations.

To date, $172 million has been used to pay bonuses.

Minister Chinamasa on Wednesday said Government was paying bonuses at a time when private companies, which formed the bulk of the fiscus tax base, were not paying the 13th cheque.

He was responding to a question from Chinhoyi MP Dr Peter Mataruse (MDC-T), who wanted to know if he was aware that Premier Service Medical Aid Society had not paid medical service providers for the past four months.

“I am aware of the problem of Treasury to remit to PSMAS, said Minister Chinamasa. This came as a result of a lot of pressure to the fiscus, particularly on paying bonuses.”

Minister Chinamasa said there was need to interrogate the prudence of Government paying bonuses when private companies were failing to do so.

He said Treasury would be paying the last batch of civil servants their bonuses tomorrow.

Responding to another question, Minister Chinamasa said he was reluctant to introduce new levies on already burdened Zimbabweans.

Bulawayo non-constituency MP Ms Thokozani Khupe (MDC-T) wanted to know what Government was doing on funding cancer patients.

On the recently introduced bond coins, Minister Chinamasa said Government had so far produced $5 million worth of such coins and aimed to reach $50 million soon.

He said Government was reluctant to use force on market players unwilling to accept the coins as that was part of measures to build confidence on their use.

Meanwhile, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora said it was up to parents to include condoms on their package as they prepare their children for school.

He said Government would not allow the distribution of condoms in schools, but that parents could use their discretion.

Minister Dokora was responding to a question on whether it was Government policy to distribute condoms in schools.