Govt in massive staff cull

Plans by the government to trim the bloated civil service are in full swing amid reports of hundreds of workers being laid off without notice, NewsDay has learnt.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Most government departments have been “ordered” to compile lists of staffers who were holding positions for which they were least qualified.

In an April 3 letter to provincial education officers, Primary and Secondary Education secretary Sylvia Utete-Masango made reference to a Public Service Commission “minute” regarding the retrenchments to request for more names.

“Reference is made to the Public Service Commission’s minute references C/C/8 dated March 19, 2018 wherein the commission approved the retirement of the initial batch of 139 members without requisite qualifications in terms of section 18(4)(e)(ii) of the Public Service Regulations, 2000.

“The minister has noted that some members without the requisite qualifications such as clerks, bursars, stenographers/typists, executive officers and other posts that are not of its current detailed establishment tables (DET), at head office, provincial, district and schools levels have been left out in the initial batch,” Utete-Masango said. “Hence all provinces are requested to compile and submit additional lists of all staff members without requisite qualifications in the cited grades at provincial, district and schools to the principal director(s) finance, administration, human resources and discipline at head office by April 13, 2018.”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is keen on rationalising government expenditure and has seemingly abandoned his predecessor former President Robert Mugabe’s approach to governance by pushing through a retrenchment exercise that almost got Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa fired after he suggested it two years ago.

Chinamasa had also said government should suspend annual bonuses to civil servants as part of a strategy to reduce expenditure in line with the requirements by multi-lateral institutions under what has become known as the Lima Plan meant to re-integrate Zimbabwe into the international finance system after years in the doldrums.
NewsDay has also learnt that dozens were fired from the Foreign Affairs ministry last week.

“It’s disheartening that after serving government for years someone just wakes up and decides to send you home with no idea as to when you will get your severance package or the quantum thereof,” an affected staffer said. “The most disconcerting thing is that the ministry employed new people in January whose contracts were cryptically back-dated to December last year.”

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said he had been informed of Utete-Masango’s letter, but was yet to see it.
“We have heard about the letter, there is so much panic and confusion. Government could handle this issue in better ways. The people being laid off have experience and skills that are required by government. We need to look at their deficiencies and undertake a staff development exercise that just cut them loose like that,” he said.

Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander said: “We actually raised these issues with minister [Simbarashe] Mumbengegwi last week. Government is not consulting unions and flouting procedures, this must be rectified. Collective bargaining is the way to go and the groundwork should begin soon.”


Mumbengegwi and Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo were not available for comment.

Foreign Affairs secretary Joey Bimha said: “I was not in office. I will check and get back to you.”

13 Comments

  1. The President and Government must resolutely get on with this – and it’s time. This country cannot have resources set aside for people who get into offices just register their presence, in order to get a pay cheque at the end of the month, without any delivery whatsoever. This is one of the reasons we have inflation so high – a $100 bond cannot buy much, let alone the actual US$. It is because too much of these bonds, US$ are chasing very few of goods and services locally produced or delivered, as loads of these unproductive Govt employees call for the pay cheque that they have not worked for.
    The rationalisation exercise is long overdue, and should not take long as these Govt employees continue to pull down economic development.In fact I would go further to recommend that Govt does not pay any severence package if any Govt employee is found to have been not delivering on anything over stint in Govt service. This will get them to volunteer. and the law must be reviewed to stop the employees using litigation to delay this exercise – the economy is bleeding because of these people

  2. Zvakozvenyuhazvirehwimayivepi Mazivazvangumhakayakora

    Comment…Councillors & Wards, MP & Constituences neSenetors akawandisa. Apa sarudzo dzeprimaries 05 Chivabvu, constituences achingori mazana maviri ane gumi. Veyi navo? VaMnangagwa, ndokumbira mutapudzewo zviri pamuro izvi tisati tapinda musarudzo. Ndinoti maconstituence ZANA anoita chaizvo. Misayi sarudzo dzeprimaries, motanga matapudza huwandu hweconstituences.

    1. Taura hako. Compare, tozoita ma District admnistartors, kwouya ma provincial Governors, unoshaiwa kuti vose ivava ndevei.
      Compare this to Smith’s cabinet, and they were at war. Kupanana mari chete.

  3. I have no sympathy for these people, some are way past their retirement age. This should cascade to parastatals, Independent commission, Audit Office, where you have very old people clinging on to post. They need to go immediately.

  4. I understand the neccessity of the exercise but terms of retrenchment have to be agreed – you cannot just show people the door without a package, even a small package. In addition there has to be a form of hand over to new employees to avoid confusion.
    Obviously government departments have been top heavy employing more people than necessary and they need to be stricter in future on hiring practices. Use temp agencies where you can em0loy more or less as needed.

  5. Start with vote rigging machine Tabaiwa Mudede if you are serious and rational.

  6. Yes its true they need to go most of them are political employees who are just earning and not delivering anything for our country. some youths goes to bank just to collect monthly salary they have never worked for. please do more checks and very closely or flight adverts for information from people who know who are in the system.

  7. Why should the foreign affairs ministry comment on this issue, maybe its a sign of who is in control!!!

  8. This retrenchment for ALL staff is a Zimbabwean idea, senior staff ie Managers up wards, around the world may have severance or similar IF their contract curtailed ; otherwise you’re fired according to notice & go look for another job, your pension travels with you if these people have held a job for which they are not qualified then that is criminal fraud, so many times the news has reported of such cases!!! Get the money saved to necessities or capital income producing projects

  9. It is high government walked the talk

  10. I wonder if Tobias Mudede is one of the retrenched old and useless farts.

  11. Remember it’s about retrenchment of human beings not devils. Proper procedures need to be taken to avoid infringement of their rights. Don’t throw the labour act in the dustbin. We need a caring Gvt pliz.

  12. Dzingai maC10 ayo haana kana basa…nemasoja akawandisa …we are not at war…even mapurisa ayo…musadzinge vanhu vane production…MaCIO ne masoja havana kana basa

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