State ex­or­cises ghost work­ers

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Nor­man Muchemwa

GOV­ERN­MENT has set in mo­tion a rig­or­ous data col­lec­tion sys­tem for its em­ploy­ees that will see cap­tur­ing of bio­met­rics and re­sub­mis­sion of aca­demic and pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tions, which will be sub­ject to ver­i­fi­ca­tion for au­then­tic­ity.

Bio­met­ric data col­lec­tion gath­ers bio-in­for­ma­tion through live cap­tur­ing of fin­ger­prints, fa­cial fea­tures, pho­to­graphs and sig­na­tures.

The mea­sures are part of a broader plan to flush out ghost work­ers who have been draw­ing salaries and al­lowances for years. Gov­ern­ment is sit­ting on a wage bill that chews about 90 per­cent of rev­enue and has been cited as un­rea­son­ably high in the quest to im­prove the econ­omy.

In the 2019 Na­tional Bud­get State­ment a fort­night ago, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube said Gov­ern­ment con­ducted civil ser­vice au­dits in 2011 and 2015, with both point­ing to the ex­is­tence of ghost work­ers.

He said, “Clearly, this goes against the thrust of re-ori­ent­ing Bud­get ex­pen­di­tures to­wards growth en­hanc­ing and poverty re­duc­ing de­vel­op­men­tal pro­grammes and projects through ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion of the pub­lic ser­vice wage bill. To weed out these ghost work­ers, I pro­pose to in­tro­duce a bio­met­ric regis­tra­tion of all civil ser­vants, with ef­fect from 1 Jan­uary 2019. The regis­tra­tion process will be rig­or­ous and will in­volve cap­tur­ing data on let­ter of ap­point­ment, aca­demic and pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tions, na­tional iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments, em­ploy­ment code num­bers and bio­met­ric data.

“Bio­met­ric data will in­volve cap­tur­ing of one’s unique phys­i­cal at­tributes such as fin­ger­prints, DNA, iris and retina pat­tern, us­ing ICT.

“The above sys­tem will en­sure that ev­ery per­son be­ing paid by Gov­ern­ment for ser­vices ren­dered is prop­erly ac­counted for.”

Gov­ern­ment has al­ready un­der­taken to re­tire 2 917 youth of­fi­cers by end of this month. Fur­ther, Gov­ern­ment will re­tire all civil ser­vants above the age of 65, while State en­ti­ties and de­part­ments have been di­rected to process and fi­nalise all due re­tire­ments.

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