The Mozambican government has reiterated its commitment to pay the New Year bonus to state pensioners. The bonus, known as "the 13th month", is equivalent to an extra month of the basic wages.
It is normally paid in January to all employees of the public administration. But in mid-December, in his annual State of the Nation address, given to the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, President Filipe Nyusi announced that there is not enough money in the state budget to pay the bonus.
However, he said the government would seek the resources to pay the 13th month to all pensioners "because of the vulnerability of this social group".
The Deputy Minister of State Administration, Inocencio Impissa, cited in the newssheet "Carta de Mocambique" on 13 January, guaranteed that the pensioner's bonus is now being processed.
"This is a promise already made by the head of state, so the funds must be processed", he said. "The 13th month is generally paid as from the second or third week of January. The expectation is that it will be the same this year".
Impissa added that the 13th month will also be paid to 18,000 workers of the public administration who are not yet receiving pensions but are in the process of being retired.
The decision not to pay the 13th month seems not to apply to municipal workers. Beira and Quelimane municipal councils have both announced that they will pay the bonus to all their workforce.