Harare embarks on civil service audit

eliphas_mukonoweshuroHARARE Zimbabwes coalition government will this month audit the civil service to establish the number of genuine public workers in a workforce that some say is packed (Pictured: Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro)

with thousands of supporters of President Robert Mugabe who draw salaries every month without providing any actual service to the state.

But Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais MDC-T party said in a statement that the audit that will run from November 30 to December 18 would not cover the uniformed forces and other security services. The payroll and skills audit will cover all public servants regulated by the Public Service Act and the Health Services Act, i.e. excluding the uniformed forces and other security services,” Mukonoweshuro said.

The audit comes amid reports of thousands of ghost workers with some suggesting there could be as many as 20 000 ghost workers among the civil service that is estimated at around 300 000 employees. In addition to ghost workers, Mugabe and his ZANU PF party are also known to have rewarded supporters with appointment to non-existent jobs in the civic service.

For example, Comptroller and Auditor-General Mildred Chiri in a report for 2009 accused the Ministry of Youth Development of hiring 10 277 youth officers between May and June 2008 although the ministry is required to employ only 144 youth officers.

Human rights groups accuse Mugabe of using the youths that are on government payroll to carry out programmes of his ZANU PF party and as shock troops against perceived opponents.

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