via Govt to fire thousands of civil servants – New Zimbabwe 30/08/2015
THE government is finalising a plan to reduce its bloated civil service through a job cut exercise that is set to reduce figures by half, NewZimbabwe.com has learnt.
Government sources said tension has been bubbling under the surface since Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku delivered the landmark July 17th Supreme Court judgment that resulted in the loss of over 25 000 jobs in both the private sector and state run-institutions across the country.
As part of a rationalisation exercise meant to appease multi-lateral institutions, President Mugabe has reportedly agreed to reduce his government’s wage bill from the current 83% to about 40% of state annual expenditure.
“There is uncertainty; a lot is happening. Human resources officers after the so called physical headcount are now monitoring who is doing what and at what time.
They are clocking in the time a person enters their work-station as well as the time they take tea breaks as well as lunch and the time they knock-off.
“There are now weekly reports of how many hours people are spending doing productive work or not. It is not business as usual anymore. The era of relaxing in the civil service is over.
“There are rumours that they want to force everyone aged 55 years and above to retire and that has caused no less consternation,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.
As if to confirm this, the state media Sunday came just short of admitting job cuts are on the way.
“Cabinet will be considering the full package of necessary proposals in the next couple of weeks. The above interventions to manage the wage bill are meant to create the fiscal space necessary to entre medium to long-term growth,” a Sunday paper quoted government officials as saying.
According to the paper, a Civil Service Audit Report set to be tabled before cabinet has “revealed that there is a huge number of people who are literally doing nothing and it’s a cause for concern.
“Most employees who are idle are in a few ministries because the majority of government departments are technical.
“For example, the report says there is no need for agricultural extension workers in towns but they should be on the farms in order to advise farmers”.
During the inclusive government from 2009 and 2013, another audit revealed that there were no less than 80 000 ghost workers on the government payroll.
At the time, critics said these were mainly made up of youth service graduate getting paid for doing Zanu PF work rather than state duties.
While Mugabe has over the past decade and half been accusing the IMF and the World Bank of being used by the US and Britain in a regime change agenda, the paper quotes an IMF resident representative in Harare Christian Beddies saying “rationalization will not mean there will be loss of jobs, but those doing nothing should not expect to be paid”.
“Government will have to decide on the kind of civil service it wants and the Staff Monitored Programs are home grown and we (IMF) can only support them,” said Beddies.
An IMF team is expected in the country this week.