Public Service Commission Headed For A Clash With Zanu PF Over Youth Officers

THE Public Service Commission (PSC) is targeting “ghost workers” in the civil service as part of government’s transformative agenda, Chairperson Vincent Hungwe has said.

Public Service Commission Headed For A Clash With Zanu PF Over Youth Officers

Hungwe told journalists during an induction workshop for permanent secretaries in Harare yesterday that the government had no choice, but to tackle problem areas in Zimbabwe’s civil service.

“A ghost worker is a moniker for someone who is not supposed to be in a particular space or performing a particular function. Of course, there are instances where people have been employed outside the rules and procedures of the Public Service Commission,” Hungwe said.

“The PSC has dealt with such issues and we continue to identify them and get rid of them. But in instances where we have more personnel than is institutionally required, that does not render the person a ghost worker. It is only that our systems have not been efficient and effective enough in terms of making sure that there is resonance between what we require and the numbers we hire.”

A government staff audit a few years ago revealed former President Robert Mugabe’s administration connived with the ruling Zanu PF party to employ over 70 000 youth officers outside the remit of the PSC.

With multi-lateral institutions demanding a rationalisation of the civil service as a precondition for financial and technical support, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly committed to slashing recurrent expenditure by reducing the size of the workforce.

Hungwe said it was not possible to determine the number of civil servants required, but this will be informed by the strategic plans that line ministries will come up with which the PSC will use to set up structures that will help in the implementation of government policy.
He also said that government’s workforce was top-heavy.

“The whole idea is to right-size the civil service, making sure that the right persons are performing the right jobs given the skills sets that they have. It’s a combination of right-sizing, right-skilling and right-tooling. There has always been a tendency to assume that the overall size of the civil service in Zimbabwe is too big,” Hungwe said.

“There are certain areas in respect of certain levels where there are more people than required and that has tended to be the case at the highest level of the civil service like permanent secretaries and principle directors. But this does not, in aggregate terms, imply that the civil service is too big.”

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