Govt calls off teachers’ vacation, embarks on second head count

THE government has cancelled teachers’ vacation and ordered all teachers on leave to report to their various workstations in preparation for a second staff head count by officials from the Public Service Commission, NewsDay has established.


The physical count is part of government’s ongoing physical audit of its workforce to flush out suspected ghost workers believed to be milking the civil service payroll.

The directive is contained in a circular dispatched last week to all school heads across the country.

The circular, dated January 14, 2016, read in part: “Urgent. Vacation leave has been cancelled. All heads are being directed to recall all teachers who had applied for vacation leave for term one 2016. Schools would be visited by the Public Service Commission Inspectorate soon to ensure that all such members have assumed duty. Therefore, all members who had gone on vacation leave are strongly advised to comply with the directive without fail.”

The circular was signed by Education secretary Sylvia Utete Masango.

Last year, government conducted a similar exercise and withdrew salaries for over 3 000 teachers allegedly found missing at their workstations.


Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora refused to comment on the matter yesterday and referred all questions to support staff at his offices.

“You can call the ministry’s spokesperson. I can’t help you on that,” he said.

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou accused government of “flagrantly flouting labour laws” and urged his union’s members to ignore the directive.

“One wonders why it has become so fashionable for the ministries to flagrantly flout labour laws in Zimbabwe,” Zhou said.

“There is no doubt that the ministries are moving the clock backwards to the notorious colonial Master and Servant Act as teachers have not been consulted. As if it is not enough, the law is applied in retrospect, selectively and discriminatorily as other civil servants on leave have not been recalled. One wonders why a permanent secretary writing on the 14th of January has the temerity to assert that the changes apply with effect from 1 January 2016 unless she is using a calendar of the opposite.”

Zhou added: “PTUZ advises its members not to return to their respective stations unless they receive a written communiqué to that effect. We encourage members to submit photocopies of the recall communiqué to nearest PTUZ offices so that we can approach the courts to challenge the unfair labour practice.”

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  1. Tell me its not people who want to increase income from travel and subsistence allowances, and i will ask you how many times a grown up has to count to 50 to be sure its 50 if ever there is a school with that many teachers.

  2. We have had a lot of these audits withount ant meaningful outcome from the previous one. I am now beginning to think that those conducting the audits are benefiting through T and S allowances. Thats is the only logical thing to assume otherwise how would anyone justify civi servants audits year in year out. Its going to be similar to the several land audits which have conducted in this country and every other time someone comes out with more farms than before. Weird, isn’t it? In this same paper there is talk of civil service audits to reduce the wage billand yet the in this same paper there is headline, ARMY ,AIRFORCE ON RECRUITMENT DRIVE.
    This is ZANU PF gvt for you.

  3. Govt must stop such actions to its employees where did it get such labour laws. Why only to the. E education sector pese kana apererwa dokora ngaataure not to frustrate the workers apo makabva kubata ma 40 dollars without notification

  4. what about those who went overseas to be with their families? just wasting money traveling for what?? mukati kuchiri nevanhu vakafuda here kumahofisi uko

    1. ndiri kuHawaii kuhoney moon on leave ye 4mnths Dr Dofora ndosiya Murume ega kuno kuti ndiitwe head count kuzim ndoodii nhai

  5. Panofanirwa kuve nokurangarira kutambudzika kwakaita vashandi avo.

  6. Any reasonable man would know that this is an effort to thwart the proposed strike by teachers. No one will give an excuse that they were on leave. This is a clever way of calling off the proposed job action.

  7. Zhou do not support ghost worker in a tactical way….you were saying before that Government is keeping ghost workers….i can not see re-count with a problem…why trying to block this re-count Mr Zhou?….

  8. Secretary mupenyu here.Ministry yafa iyi.Zhou adii zvake. pane asingazive kuti audit yakaitwa just last year? kana maghost ariko ngaabvisweka.mongoaudita ministtry imwe pane waya here apa.its now sickening.

  9. ko vakareplacer vakaenda paleave munoti vodii…unethical labour practices

  10. ministry of youth gender and employment creation is the ministry yakazara nezvidhoma izvi .Mumisha hobho vanhu vanongotambira vasina zvavanoita.siyanai nesu mateacher tsvagai gudo kugomo nt kumugwagwa ministry iyoyo ndoyauraya budget Zivai zvinnhu izvi

  11. Are things normal in Prisca’s office? Our Government need help now;>

  12. Nemiwo mateacher makapusa munongotenda kunongeswa svosve nemuromo ndosaka vana vedu ari matofo. Kunyanya kumaruzevha uko …..zvakaoma. Zivai kuti oppression’s ultimate resource is the cooperation of the oppressed.

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