via Political interference: PTUZ | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe
Political appointments have compromised standards in the country’s civil service, fuelled corruption and opened the way for the abuse of public office by appointees, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe has said.
PTUZ Information and Research Officer, Fanuel Mabhugu, made the revelations during a workshop on corruption reporting organised by lobby group, Coalition Against Corruption.
The workshop sought to find ways for journalists to play an active role in reporting corruption in the country.
Mabhugu said that the issue of political appointments had seen some appointees overstepping their mandates and dabbling in politics.
“There are politicians being appointed to the civil service as Permanent Secretaries and, in some cases, District Administrators. Although the law is clear on their roles, some of these appointees invariably dabble in politics. Some senior civil servants do not see themselves as servants of the people,” said Mabhugu.
He warned that corruption was going undetected in the civil service.
“There are issues which are no longer seen as corruption. There are cases were senior civil servants report for work late and leave early. There are civil servants who are doing nothing to earn their salaries,” said Mabhugu.
He warned that people had lost faith in the country’s public institutions.
“If we get rid of this corruption, people will have faith in the institutions of the State. The challenge is to move from rhetoric to action,” said Mabhugu.
Economic analyst, John Robertson, added that political appointments had a negative impact on the civil service.
“Some of the people at the top are very good at what they do because they use their skills well. But some people use their authority and influence to get what they want instead of using management skills,” said Robertson.