Source: ‘Civil servants need retraining’ | The Herald 29 OCT, 2019
Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
CIVIL servants need retraining as some of them, including senior officials, are still stuck in the past and failing to deliver in line with the objectives of the Second Republic, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Dr Elasto Mugwadi, has said.
Addressing a Press conference at the end of hearings on access to national documentation in Bulawayo on Friday, Dr Mugwadi said while the public hearings exposed failings by some officials from the Registrar-General’s Office and Department of Social Welfare to perform their duties, the problem cuts across all Government departments.
He said civil servants needed re-orientation and his office would soon engage the Public Service Commission over the issue.
“So, we are expecting training and retraining of members of the public service and others who are also giving public service,” said Dr Mugwadi.
“We are going to have engagements with the employer who is the Public Service Commission.
“We have had informal discussions, but we are saying it’s not only the Registrar-General’s Office which requires re-exposure through retraining.
“It’s almost the entire public service, all of the public service institutions, we talk about them. You will find individuals who are really up to scratch, but there are others, including seniors who are only interested in gate-keeping which should be a thing of the past and we are going to continuously get this addressed.”
Dr Mugwadi said ZHRC doubled as the Public Protector or Ombudsman with responsibilities for overseeing operations of Government departments.
He said civil servants should have a human face in their operations.
Dr Mugwadi said the commission observed that some of the civil servants were still maintaining the culture of the old regime, whereas they should be guided by supreme law of the country.
“In our engagements with them and other Government officials, we are saying they should now adopt a human rights-based approach which places the interest of the customer as a priority,” he said.
“It is the top most issue they should be looking at. Mind you, we’re moving from one generation of administration, the old administration to the new dispensation.
“It has policies which are linked to implementation of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution, which is only a 2013 people-driven Constitution.”
Dr Mugwadi said the national inquiry into challenges resulting in some members of the public failing to access important documents was part of many that ZHRC as the Public Protector will carry out to ensure citizens got the best service from Government departments.