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MPs tackle ghost workers

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Parliament is set to debate a motion that will seek to compel government to release results of the civil service audit conducted in November last year.

The audit, conducted by Ernst&Young of India, reportedly exposed about 70 000 “ghost workers”, mostly linked to Zanu PF.

The government has an estimated 265 000 civilian employees on its payroll and Finance minister Tendai Biti has blamed poor remuneration on the presence of ghost workers.

MDC-T MP for Mutare West Shuah Mudiwa on Thursday gave notice that he would move the motion when the House of Assembly resumes sitting next year.

Parliament adjourned on Thurday and will resume sitting on February 28.

“Mr Speaker, I would like to move that this House takes note of the civil service audit produced on November 10, 2010 and that the report has not been formally presented to Parliament,” Mudiwa said.

“We are disturbed by the non-implementation of what is in the report and call upon the House to resolve that government should table the audit and provide a roadmap to deal with the workers appearing on the payroll within 14 days of adoption of this motion.”

The previous day, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, during a question and answer session, told MPs the delay was caused by the death of Public Service minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.

He said the new minister, Lucia Matibenga, would soon appear before Parliament to speak on the report.

Before his death, Mukonoweshuro had told Parliament that the public service audit would undergo a verification exercise to ensure its credibility.

At least 10 277 ghost workers are suspected to be on the payroll of the Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment ministry.

Comptroller and Auditor-General Mildred Chiri in 2009 produced an audit report that exposed the 10 277 youth officers in the ministry.

According to the report, the ministry was supposed to employ only 144 youth officers.

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