April 18, 2015 / 3:53 PM / 2 years ago

Zimbabwe's Mugabe says bonuses for public workers to stay

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe holds a booklet during his 91st birthday celebration in Victoria Falls February 28, 2015.Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday said public workers would continue receiving annual bonuses, publicly contradicting his finance minister who said this week the government would stop the payments for the next two years.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Tuesday due to falling tax revenues it was unsustainable for his government to continue paying the bonuses, another sign that Zimbabwe's economy is struggling.

But Mugabe told supporters during independence celebrations that this was not government policy and that Chinamasa had not consulted him and his two vice presidents.

"The cabinet did not approve that at all. The presidency was never, never consulted on the matter," said Mugabe, who has in the past contradicted his ministers in public.

"We say that is disgusting to us and it will never, never be implemented at all. So your bonuses will come to you," he said.

Chinamasa has promised to cut the government wage bill, which is expected to take up 82 percent of the 2015 budget.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Rosalind Russell

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