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‘Ghost workers to go’

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MASVINGO – Finance minister Tendai Biti says the inclusive government has started sniffing out ghost workers, a process likely to take until end of year.

He said in Masvingo at the weekend the exercise was crucial in easing pressure on the civil service wage bill after the recent salary hike.

Last year, the Public Service ministry unearthed about 70 000 ghost workers on government payroll following a human resource audit.

“By the end of this year, we should have killed the issue of ghost workers. The government has started a validation exercise of the civil service audit which should be completed as soon as possible,” Biti told NewsDay on the sidelines of the 2012 Budget consultative meeting at the Masvingo Civic Centre.

“The Public Service Commission is implementing the validating matrix to determine the kind of ghost workers.

“As you are aware, among the ghost workers were people who are dead and others not legitimately employed and not on the desk,” he said.

Without giving specific dates, Biti said the validation exercise should be through “soon”.

“The civil service wage bill is unsustainable and will chew up three quarters of the Budget. We hope the validation exercise would end as soon as possible so that it can free up some resources,” he said.

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