PSC chair vows to tackle ghost works


NEWLY-APPOINTED Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson, Vincent Hungwe, has vowed to flush out ghost workers, as part of efforts to improve efficiency and manage government’s ballooning wage bill.


Addressing journalists after being sworn-in as a member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) at State House yesterday, Hungwe said he will first seek to clarify the status of ghost employees and act on them to restore sanity in the public service.

“This is the beauty of living in a constitutional democracy, people make observations, some of them might actually be accurate, but the critical issue is that for any institution to be able to identify those challenges in terms of scope, magnitude and depth you need to undertake an audit to the extent that there is not any audit that has been undertaken. That audit will be undertaken to establish the veracity of ghost workers being in existence and out of it we understand the scope, nature and magnitude and therefore the appropriate measures to be taken,” he said.

This comes amid reports that the government was staffed with more than 70 000 ghost workers, who caused its wage bill to chew almost 90% of the national budget.

The PSC chair called for a paradigm shift, including employing competent people, to support goals set under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s political dispensation.

“We have been operating in one paradigm and there has been a significant shift in the thinking of where we want to achieve as a country and the PSC becomes a critical player in terms of making sure that the requisite structures and functions of government are aligned to the challenges that we have to surpass. Those structures also have to be manned by both men and women who have the necessary technical competences,” he said.

Hungwe’s new tasks involve sitting on various commissions, among them the Defence Forces Commission, Police Commission and the Prisons and Correctional Services Commission.

“It will be very presumptuous of me to identify challenges. I am starting work tomorrow (today) and we will definitely have time to reflect on what it is that has been happening in the public service commission and that process itself reflects and makes it possible for us to identify the challenges that need to be attended to short, medium, long-term,” he said.