TEACHERS’ representatives have rejected findings of a civil service audit, which established that there are ghost workers in the education sector.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
A Civil Service Commission audit report presented to Cabinet unearthed massive rot in President Robert Mugabe’s government, where millions of dollars are allegedly being spent on salaries for ghost and idle workers.
The report named the education sector as the chief culprit being overstaffed by 5 588 teachers.
But Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said the audit had glaring inconsistencies and was not a “true reflection” of the civil service.
“The report was compiled by people who have an agenda to cut the wage bill, but using the wrong formula.
“For example, as far as we know as teachers, we are understaffed, we have 2 000 schools that are understaffed and you hear someone alleging that we are overstaffed, where did these people come from?” Zhou asked.
According to the report, a total of 12 392 people were found to be rendering services to government yet not appearing on the payroll, causing an unbudgeted expenditure of $81 147 840 annually.
But teachers’ unions said government should target the idle Youth ministry officers, who were gobbling State resources yet were not doing any work.
“We know that these youth officers are useful to the regime during election time, but this is coming at a cost to the teachers.
“Secondly, the people, who conducted this audit, do not appreciate the teacher-student ratio and how the schools ought to be administered,” Zhou said.
Richard Gundani, the Zimbabwe Teacher’s Association president, said the recommendations were unprogressive and could stall development in the education sector.
“You can’t stop a teacher from going on leave after working for seven years without leave, you can’t abolish posts when it is expected that people need to be promoted, this will not work. We urge government to relook at the report and consider its findings carefully,” he said.
Meanwhile, the opposition MDC has demanded that Mugabe and his Cabinet step down for overseeing the rot in the civil service that is draining millions of dollars from Treasury.
MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi said the report exposed the level of deterioration of corporate governance and accountability in the civil service, which was a huge contributing factor in this country’s economic crisis.