Zimbabwe should ‘brace up for major public service reforms’ – says Mugabe’s spokesman

By on 28/08/2015
Zimbabwe’s civil service is set to undergo major reforms.

Zimbabwe’s civil service is set to undergo major reforms, the spokesman of the country’s president has announced after the civil service commission submitted a detailed audit report.

According to a report by the Herald daily newspaper, president Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said that the report, which was commissioned by the Cabinet Office to find ways to “cut down the size of the wage bill”, would give the president a “statistical basis” for key reforms in the civil service.

“The nation must now brace up for major reform initiatives in the public service in the intervening weeks,” Charamba said.

The report is based on an audit exercise, which saw Civil Service Commission staff examining “every corner of the country,” Charamba added.

The report, the Herald says, found that the civil service wage bill accounts for around 65% of the national budget.

The bulk of the employment costs are going to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

The audit also contains names of all 3,000 state employees who were not found at their workstations when the commission conducted a head count in April to weed out so-called ‘ghost workers’.

These civil servants, most of whom are teachers, have already been struck off the pay roll.

However, teachers unions claim that staff who were absent when the count was carried out were either on annual leave, maternity leave or off sick.

The Herald reported earlier this month that unions were in discussion with the commission on how to resolve the situation and that “only those who prove that they are bona fide government workers are to be reinstated on the pay roll.”

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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