The Zimbabwean government has agreed to pay Christmas bonuses of last year next month.

The agreement averts a day-old sit-in strike by civil servants. Just as the government pays salaries, the bonuses will be paid in batches, starting next month.

Public workers, mostly teachers, began a strike today to push the government to pay 2016 annual bonuses that were due in December. Reports indicate that it got off to a rather slow start as some workers did not heed the call.

An official of a teacher’s union, Raymond Majongwe, confirmed on Sunday that striking workers will stage a sit-in on Monday and decide a course of action after meeting with the government over the delayed payment.

It turns out that the meeting with the government was fruitful and the bonuses – which are usually equivalent to a month’s salary, will be paid in cash starting next month through to August.

An acute cash shortage has forced the Zimbabwean government to reintroduce bond notes as legal tender along with the United States dollar. Through most parts of last year, the government staggered payment of salaries due to lack of cash.