HARARE – Government has undertaken to pay severance packages as well as offering entrepreneurial skills to over 3 700 national youth service workers fired from the civil service by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube.
Ncube cut loose the youths, mostly drawn from the controversial national youth service (green bombers) to slash the wage bill as part of his Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) launched recently.
Government is expected to make an annual saving of $13,8 million following their retirement from service.
While they were engaged as youth officers, they were being used by the ruling party in previous elections to coerce villagers to vote for fallen despot Robert Mugabe.
Most of the youths graduated from the late Zanu PF political commissar Border Gezi-initiated national youth service programme which government abandoned in 2003.
Public Service Commission (PSC) secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe said from giving them retirement packages, the ministry will also avail empowerment opportunities to those interested.
“The affected youth officers will receive their full retirement benefits in line with Public Service Statutes and these will be communicated to the affected individuals.
“In order to enable the affected members to remain productive outside Public Service, information on empowerment opportunities will be made available to those interested, particularly in view of the prompt disbursement of their benefits upon retirement,” Wutawunashe said, while explaining that the main criterion used to retire the Border Gezi youth officers was their lack of requisite qualifications to be engaged as public officers.
He said some of the government empowerment options available include provision of skills at vocational training centres, access to finance, business mentorship and incubation services.
The options will be demand-driven, Wutawunashe said, urging those interested to register through the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ministry district offices.