Zimbabwe civil service top heavy, bloated

Zimbabwe civil service top heavy, bloated
Published: 22 August 2019 (41 Views)
GOVERNMENT admitted yesterday that it was bloated, had a top-heavy structure, with some key departments manned by second-class professionals owing to poor salaries and conditions of service.

This came out as the Public Service Commission (PSC) unveiled its SWOT analysis during the launch of the 2019-2020 civil service strategic plan by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

In its SWOT analysis, the PSC noted a number of weaknesses, among them a lot of underqualified or poorly qualified people running public institutions.

"Weaknesses – internal pain points to address and achieve … bloated, top heavy and over-extended public service. Low skills and attraction capacity owing to poor conditions of service not attractive to skilled and experienced staff as well as a skills flight," the PSC strategic document read.

The bloated civil service has been draining government coffers, gobbling 98% of the budget in salaries, leaving government grappling with service delivery.

Ghost workers were reported to be weighing down the salary budget, compromising the ability of government to pay decent salaries and attract skilled professionals, particularly in the National Prosecuting Authority where government relies heavily on poorly paid police and soldier prosecutors mostly out of their depth.

The Vincent Hungwe-led PSC also noted that there was a low work output, while government lacked effective performance appraisal for staff as a result of keeping a lot of unproductive personnel and deadwood.

Hungwe's strategy seeks to change the culture of low productivity, patronage and skills flight by rewarding hard work.

"The strategic plan is driven through the following pillars, organisation design and management; remuneration [pay and benefit] reform; talent management; capacity development – skills development and management; improved risk management and governance; stakeholder advocacy, communication and change management; and culture change," the document read.

In his keynote address, Mnangagwa told civil servants that they should be aware of the Zanu PF manifesto because it was at the centre of driving government programmes.

He also called on loyalty to his administration saying those who strayed would not be spared.

"Equally, loyalty to this administration must be unequivocal and unflinching. We are a government born out of an election process and the resultant victory of a particular party, which is Zanu PF. It is, thus integral that we are alive to the political manifesto of the ruling party and seek to facilitate the achievements of the programmes articulated therein. Residual resistance that deters public service delivery and unduly delays the turnaround of our economic plight will not be tolerated," Mnangagwa said.

Turning to high levels of corruption and abuse of State resources by public officials, Mnangagwa emphasized commitment and seamless service delivery.

"I exhort all public officials to be mindful of the immense responsibility they have towards national development and the improvement of the quality of life of our people. The civil service is urged to always separate public and personal interests and to put the concerns of our people above personal benefit. We must remain clean, prudent, hones and upright in our conduct and the exercise of power," Mnangagwa said.

- newsday

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