THE rationalisation of the civil service will continue as Government employs strategies to improve the economy, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Prisca Mupfumira, said here yesterday. Speaking soon after a meeting with representatives of people living with disabilities at the NSSA Workers Compensation Rehabilitation Centre, Minister Mupfumira said while a recent bid by Treasury to slash jobs and salaries as well as suspend bonuses was put on hold, the Government was working flat out to meet its obligations and reduce its wage bill.
“Since last year we’ve been going through a rationalisation process. This is an ongoing process that is meant to reduce the government’s wage bill. “Meanwhile, the measures to cut salaries and suspend bonuses for the Government workers have been put on hold until we come up with strategies to improve the economy,” said Minister Mupfumira .
She said the Government has done a commendable job in the face of limited resources. “The Government has been the best payer despite the depressed economy. It would be irresponsible for someone to say the Government is paying late because we delay by a week or two.
“We’re staggering the bonuses due to the financial challenges that the Government is facing. Some companies in the private sector are going for months without paying their workers and they are not paying bonuses at all,” said Minister Mupfumira.
In a related development, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Willard Manungo, yesterday said the civil servants rationalisation process was on-going.
“Rationalisation is an on-going process and President Mugabe is on record as saying there is a need to be supportive of the development agenda that is placed on service delivery. If you look at what we’re doing now . . . the introduction of the Command Agriculture and Statutory Instrument 64 are part of improving the supply side to grow the economy very fast,” said Mr Manungo in an interview on the side-lines of the Zambezi River Authority media tour in Livingstone, Zambia. He said Government was working hard to improve revenue collection through increasing the productive capacity of the economy to ensure that the 13th cheque for its employees is paid and service delivery improves.
“We are looking at ways of improving the productive capacity of the economy. When we raise the productive capacity it enables us to raise the revenue that we need to be supportive of employment costs, service delivery and other Government parameters,” Mr Manungo said.