Govt freezes retrenchments

Minister Mupfumira

Minister Mupfumira

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has frozen the rationalisation exercise in the public service which sought to cut Government’s wage bill, it has emerged. CSC chairperson Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah yesterday said the freeze would remain in place until the commission gets guidance from Cabinet. This comes after youths, together with Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao, last week complained to President Mugabe that thousands of young people were facing retrenchment from Government.

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The President then ordered the reinstatement of the youth officers.

It emerged yesterday that the intention to retire 3 187 youth officers was part of the civil service rationalisation exercise approved by Cabinet in November 2015.
The affected youths did not have the requisite qualifications.

Some had no, or had less than five Ordinary Level passes, while others only had Grade Seven certificates.
Their ages ranged from 25 to 64 years and the majority of the youth officers were between the ages of 30 and 40 years.

Another 155 youth officers deemed “excess” by the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, but qualified, were redeployed by the Civil Service Commission.

Said Dr Nzuwah: “I was given instructions by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister (Prisca Mupfumira) last week to freeze any action on the rationalisation exercise until further instruction.

“I immediately instructed all organs in Government involved to stop it. We have frozen everything pending further instruction from the minister who consults the appointing authority (President Mugabe). Nothing is being done until we get instructions to proceed or not. It is sad that some sections of the media say the minister is disobeying the President.

“She has already implemented the decision made by the President in Chinhoyi. She came back (from the rally) and we were communicating and she told us to stop and we complied.”

The rationalisation emanated from a CSC audit ordered by Cabinet two years ago.
The audit was meant to guide Government in the implementation of key reforms in the public service sector.

It had recommendations aimed at reducing the Government wage bill by $400 million annually.

Drastic measures like the reduction of student teachers and trainees’ allowances, resuscitation of pension contributions and termination of salaries paid to teachers at private and trust schools had been operationalised.

Vacant posts were abolished, under-used staff was redeployed, funding of bridging courses had been scrapped while workers abusing various types of leave, tampering with pay sheets and attendance registers were charged.

Dr Nzuwah said the affected youth officers, who were chewing $1,6 million monthly, had not yet been discharged.

He said Government would not fire any employee without him or her making representations.

“We do not just retire someone arbitrarily. It is not a brutal exercise,” Dr Nzuwah said.

“We were sent by Cabinet and we gave proposals. We are just a technical organisation implementing what Cabinet is aware of.

“The commission communicates the intention to retire someone, but we won’t implement until the affected employee makes a presentation within 14 days. Some officers agree to get retired and others will put forward their explanations and we will consider that again.”

Minister Mupfumira weighed in saying no one would be discharged from Government without being given notice and terminal benefits. She said Treasury stopped paying the said youth officers in July last year but the commission continued meeting their salaries to avoid labour disputes.

“The commission, being aware of the law, has been mobilising resources to pay them and is about to pay them their July salaries,” she said.

“The law is clear. You engage an officer in Government and from the day you engage them you are required to compensate them until the day they are officially disengaged by the Civil Service Commission, the employer not by Treasury. If we fail to observe the law, the courts will reinstate the officer/s with costs. If someone says there is no money, it (commission) has an obligation to ensure that officer is paid as long as he or she has done the day’s work and there is proof.”

She went on: “Although the commission never received any cent from Treasury beginning July 2016, it has been paying through its own savings. Even if the decision is to let them go after making their presentations, we still have to do the due process of giving them the three months’ notice and their terminal benefits. We have to meet the President first but for now we have to stop until we clarify the issue with him. Our mandate is to protect people not to discard them.”

It is understood that about $3,8 million is required to pay the youths notice of intention while another $12,8 million would be needed for terminal benefits.
Treasury had already granted concurrence on the termination of youth officers’ contracts.

Minister Mupfumira said no one was being ambushed on the issue of the youth officers as there was communication between the respective Ministries and CSC.

The civil service rationalisation exercise is in line with the Zim-Asset Public Administration, Governance and Performance Management sub-cluster, which is guided by the Results Based Management System and focuses on budgeting and resourcing, public sector modernisation and civil service reform, fostering good governance and building capacities for public sector institutions.

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  • Pastor Farie

    2.2million

  • Umfansimbi

    Put it simple Doctor. There are elections next year and government has to ensure the survival of the ruling party. The economic blue prints can go to ** and similarly the West can go hang as long as some people (actually less than 1000) drive SUVs and German sedans and their children live in luxury in Sandton and their mothers buy million dollar rings

  • Frank

    so these youths with no o levels are more important than the teacher and student teacher who has five o levels and a teaching qualification. Zimbabwe is ruined by these power hungry people. rubbish. I feel our leadership has no concern about economic activity for the benefit of the majority. This decision is self centered not national but one day god will straighten things whether they like it or not.

  • Justice

    This is not only affecting Ministry of Youth. Last week some employees from Min of Industry and Commerce, Salaries Service Bureau and ku Local Gvt were affected. Izvozvi vatori kumba so. If government has not properly come up with the correct procedures they should call back everyone who was sent home whilst they put their house in order. Why only the youth officers vari kunzi vadzoserwe pabasa. Lets be fair Minister Mupfumira and Mr Nzuwa.

  • Zvekuhondo Zvinodazvivindi

    Mr President help also to unfreeze nurses and teacher posts

  • Tapfuma

    Kkkkkk! Some 45 to 55 year old Zanu-pf Youth have already caught up with if not surpassed investments of their 70 to 93 year old mentors, many “youth” boast of luxury vehicles, numerous properties, 40 bedroom mansions etc. Why should they deprive themselves of another 30 years of party/state sponsored accumulated wealth, just like their elders?

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    Election time!

  • Frog Datya

    Hamusi kuona Maths dzacho here apa kuti hakuna anodzingwa basa until tapedza kuvhota.

  • Mugabeism

    The constitution can be changed, by a two-thirds majority in Parliament, which ZANU-PF more than possesses.

    But even if the constitution isn’t changed, President Mugabe can nominate his successor who is then confirmed by a party congress. If the current President goes to be with God in this or his next term the nominees confirmed by congress will be installed as the new President.

  • Tambai Mese Mujairane

    G40 1 – Team Lacoste 0..The economy losing too..Phew.Politics.1+1=-3

  • mercy

    Sign that the elections are around the corner

  • Mhofu Chaiyo

    Am I the only person seeing the confession to mis-governance by Zanu Pf in this article!? Looking at the demographics of the affected people, above 90% of them are not supposed to have been employed in the first place, mostly due to age and qualifications. Aaayah!! Zimbabwe!?

  • No cabinet

    So we don’t really need a cabinet do we? Teachers and nurses are less important than the unqualified youthespecially……