‘Min­istries can ap­ply for posts freeze ex­emp­tion’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

MIN­ISTRIES that wish to be ex­empted from the freez­ing of em­ploy­ment and pro­mo­tions ef­fected by the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (PSC) will have to present their cases be­fore the com­mit­tee on wage bill re­duc­tion, Pub­lic Ser­vice, Labour and So­cial Wel­fare Min­is­ter Prisca Mup­fu­mira said yes­ter­day.

The Gov­ern­ment froze the re­cruit­ment of em­ploy­ees and pro­mo­tions in the civil ser­vice at the be­gin­ning of this month.

The Civil Ser­vice Re­port of 2015 rec­om­mended the ex­er­cise as part of a staff ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion ex­er­cise.

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Mech­a­ni­sa­tion and Ir­ri­ga­tion De­vel­op­ment wrote to the PSC re­quest­ing ex­emp­tion after the Gov­ern­ment abol­ished more than 8 000 posts in the min­istry.

The Agri­cul­ture Min­istry ar­gued that the abol­ish­ing of the posts would de­rail Gov­ern­ment pro­grammes to re­vive the agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

The Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion has al­ready se­cured an ex­emp­tion.

Min­is­ter Mup­fu­mira said it was sur­pris­ing that sud­denly ev­ery­one wanted ex­emp­tions yet the PSC con­sulted all min­istries be­fore bar­ring re­cruit­ments and pro­mo­tions.

She said only the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs is yet to be con­sulted.

“The ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion was ar­rived at in con­sul­ta­tion with the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on wage bill re­duc­tion headed by Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa and my­self. We con­sulted and dis­cussed with all min­istries and the PSC ex­cept the For­eign Af­fairs Min­istry which we will be meet­ing soon.

“The PSC is merely im­ple­ment­ing what was agreed on. Any change or di­ver­sion will have to be re­ferred back to the com­mit­tee for rep­re­sen­ta­tion to Cab­i­net,” said Min­is­ter Mup­fu­mira.

She, how­ever, said there were cer­tain crit­i­cal ar­eas such as the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion which will be ex­empted.

“There’s an acute short­age of teach­ers in the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry and we agreed that the min­istry should be al­lowed to em­ploy teach­ers and head­mas­ters where there is a need,” said Min­is­ter Mup­fu­mira.

Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Lazarus Dokora on Thurs­day said the PSC told them that the Min­istry would not be af­fected by the job freeze after they en­gaged the com­mis­sion for clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

The Gov­ern­ment car­ried out a Civil Ser­vice Au­dit last year which re­vealed mas­sive du­pli­ca­tion of du­ties in Gov­ern­ment, over-staffing and wrong de­ploy­ment of some civil ser­vants.

A raft of mea­sures was rec­om­mended to cor­rect the anom­alies.

Among the rec­om­men­da­tions was a staff ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion ex­er­cise to quan­tify the ex­tent of du­pli­ca­tion and over staffing with a view to re­de­ploy­ing staff to ar­eas where they can be fully utilised.

The Gov­ern­ment has also been try­ing to re­duce its salary bill which is ac­count­ing for at least 85 per­cent of the rev­enue that is be­ing col­lected monthly.

Last year salaries gob­bled 83 per­cent of the 2015 Na­tional Bud­get.

In the first half of 2015, Trea­sury spent about $1,54 bil­lion on labour against rev­enue in­flows of $1,718 bil­lion. An av­er­age of $120 mil­lion is spent on salaries monthly, with the least-paid Gov­ern­ment worker tak­ing home about $380.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2015 au­dit re­port, the chief driv­ers of Gov­ern­ment labour costs are bla­tant abuse of over­time al­lowances and leave days, salary fraud, idle man­power, role du­pli­ca­tion and un­co­or­di­nated staff re­cruit­ment.

The PSC did not re­spond to e-mailed ques­tions. — @ pame­lashumba1

Min­is­ter Prisca Mup­fu­mira

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