Mukudzei Chingwere in Victoria Falls
Africans have an obligation to motivate and improve the welfare of their civil service to guarantee quality service to its citizenry, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga has said.
He made the remarks during the official opening of the eighth Africa Public Service Day commemorations hosted by Zimbabwe.
The event being held in the resort town of Victoria Falls started yesterday and is ending tomorrow.
VP Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, delivered his message virtually in compliance with the call by health experts to minimise social contact.
This year’s theme is, “Building the Africa we want through embracing an ethical culture that underpins purpose-driven leadership in the context of crisis.”
“It is incumbent upon us as African governments to continue to have a clear and coherent vision to ensure that the public service is well motivated to enable it to continue to deliver quality services for our citizenry,” said VP Chiwenga.
“We should be our own champions, driving the developmental path, which should improve the lives and well-being of our people.”
VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe is working on continuously improving the welfare of the public services sector.
“The Government of Zimbabwe continues to embrace measures to ensure the improvement of conditions of service for our public servants and the promotion of the decent work agenda at the workplaces.
“This is being done through the awarding of monetary and non-monetary rewards as a way of motivating the workers,” said VP Chiwenga.
“We are all aware, that a disgruntled and disheartened employee is less productive and is likely not to deliver quality service.
“My Government is on an elaborate programme to improve the remuneration of all its workers through social dialogue platforms.”
VP Chiwenga said the outbreak of the pandemic has presented an opportunity to embrace and adopt Information Communication Technology in conducting business within the Public Service.
“The sight of our people queuing for basic services is clearly an anathema to the ideal way of doing business in the new world order.
“The pandemic has also resulted in the need for re-orienting our public service towards the digital economy,” he said.
VP Chiwenga noted and thanked the community for their role in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I salute all the gallant Public Service workers who have remained committed and dedicated to their work in the fight against the pandemic despite the associated risks to them and their families.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives while executing their duties as public servants.”
VP Chiwenga also implored the delegates who had congregated physically to continue adhering to the prescribed protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima reiterated the call by VP Chiwenga.
“This platform is strategic as it enables us as public servants in Africa to interrogate and reflect on the functions of the public service and how to make them better and more effective, efficient and representative.
“We should make sure that, in the discharge of their duties, public servants should be sufficiently remunerated and provided with proper tools to make them effective and protected from job related risks,” said Prof Mavima.
“The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated the workplace challenges, which, unfortunately, saw some of our frontline workers losing their lives.
“It is our role as Governments to honour the public service workers. Of fundamental importance is the need to recognise and reward performance.”
Prof Mavima said frontline workers who include health personnel, port of entry personnel, teachers and the security forces continued to serve under the Covid-19 environment and their efforts led to the saving of many lives.
Ambassador Bankole Adeoye Commissioner for political affairs, peace and security at the African Union Commission talked of the impact of Covid-19.
“I am also conscious that the efforts channelled at the national and continental level towards mitigating the effects of the pandemic has affected the most development activities the world over.
“However, I am pleased that even with the challenges experienced for the better part of this year, we are commemorating this important event of APSD here in Victoria Falls, this amazing city of Zimbabwe. This pandemic, as you know, harms all sectors.”
Tanzania’s Deogratius Ndejembi, the deputy Minister of State, Public Service Management and Good Governance.
“Continental celebration of Public Service day is done in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic which has touched every person in this planet.
“We have all witnessed how the pandemic has complicated the terrain for service delivery.
“Many public servants have paid the price for daring to sustain service delivery levels in spite of the imminent dangers the Covid-19 pandemic presented,” said the Tanzania government representative.