Ghost workers return to haunt Parly

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Mutare West MP Shuah Mudiwa (MDC-T) on Tuesday moved a motion to force government to resolve the issue of 75 000 suspected “ghost workers” still on its payroll within the next 14 days.

Mudiwa told the House of Assembly at least $25 million could be saved every month if the ghost workers were removed from the government payroll.

“Seventy-five thousand out of 188 000 civil servants are ghost workers and 70 203 do not have qualifications, while 10 753 civil servants do not have police or medical clearance,” said Mudiwa.

“There are 90 cases of civil servants with different contract numbers and 335 have duplicate NSSA (National Social Security Authority) numbers and one of them, number 475559, was found appearing 91 times in the data file.”

The MDC-T MP said his findings were based on an audit report produced by Ernst and Young last year.

But Zanu PF legislator for Uzumba, Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, said it was improper for Parliament to debate on a report they had not seen.

“It is unfortunate the mover of this motion was not there when the audit was done as he was serving a jail sentence in Mutare and the issue we are discussing is hearsay, which should not be brought before this House,” Mudarikwa said.

MDC-T MPs said the motion should be debated as not doing so was a ploy by Zanu PF to have ghost workers continuously on the government payroll because they were using those people to perpetrate fear and violence during election campaigns.

Other Zanu PF MPs — Obert Matshalaga (Zvishavane), Anastancia Ndhlovu (Shurugwi South), Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (Mwenezi East), Sarah Mahoka (Hurungwe East) and Isheunesu Muza (Redcliff) — supported Mudarikwa’s assertions.

But, MDC-T legislator for Mbizo Settlement Chikwinya said the reason why ghost workers’ names continued to be on government’s payroll was because Zanu PF always wanted to use them during campaigns.