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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 28 FEBRUARY 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 23

Tuesday, 28th February 2012

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER

APPOINTMENT TO THE CHAIRPERSON'S PANEL

MR. SPEAKER: Standing Order No. 10 provides that as soon as applicable, after the commencement of every session or as occasion may require, thereafter the Speaker shall appoint two members who, with the Chairperson of Committees and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees, shall constitute the Chairperson's panel. Such members shall be entitled to exercise the powers of the deputy chairperson, save in regard to acceptance to the motion for the closure. I now therefore, appoint Hon. Chebundo to serve on the Chairperson's panel.

DEATH OF HON. BETTY CHIKAVA AND HON.KINGSTONE SAMUEL ZITEYA

MR. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House of the death of Hon. Kingstone Ziteya the Member of Parliament for Shamva South Constituency, who died on Sunday, 17 December, 2011 and Hon. Betty Chikava, the Member of Parliament for Mt. Darwin Constituency, who died on Thursday, 12th January, 2012. I invite hon. members to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect to the late hon. members.

All hon. members observed a minute of silence

MDC-T CHANGES TO PORTFOLICO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

MR. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that MDC-T has made the following changes to Portfolio Committee Membership: Hon. T. Muchauraya, will serve on the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education Science and Technology. Hon. A. Sululu will serve on the Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology. Hon. F.M Sibanda moves from the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology. Hon. S. Mushonga moves from the Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal, Constitutionally Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs to the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade. Hon. S. Chikwinya moves from the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development to Chair the Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology. Hon. Matimba moves from the Portfolio Committee on Local Government,Rural and Urban Development to the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs.

LIAISON AND COORDINATION COMMITTEE RETREAT

MR. SPEAKER: I also wish to inform the House that the Liaison and Co-ordination Committee Retreat will be held in Bulawayo at Rainbow Hotel from the 1st to the 4th March, 2012. All Chief Whips and their Deputies, Deputy Chairpersons of Committees, Committee Chairperson, Chairperson of the Women Caucus and her Deputy are invited. In terms of logistical arrangements, the Parliament coach will leave Parliament building at 1300hrs on the 1 st March 2012.

LAUNCH OF THE ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENTARIANS HIV AND AIDS NETWORK

MR. SPEAKER: I also wish to inform the House that on the 1st of March 2012, His Excellency the President Comrade R.G Mugabe will launch the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians on HIV and AIDS Network at Rainbow Towers from 0800hrs to 1300hrs. All members of Parliament are invited to the launch.

FAMILIARISATION TOUR OF DAVEN ENGENEERING (PVT) LTD

MR. SPEAKER: I also wish to advise the House that Daven Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, is inviting hon. members to a familiarisation tour of their plant in Willow-vale Industrial site. The tour will be in groups of twenty. Members are requested to register with the Public Relations Department at Pax House.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th February, 2012.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 3 and 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CIVIL SERVICE PAYROLL SKILLS AUDIT REPORT

MR. MUDIWA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House;

NOTING, the civil service audit carried out and completed on the 10th of November 2010;

FURTHER NOTING, that this report has not been formally presented to Parliament;

DISTURBED by the non implementation of this audit and the continued suffering of the Civil Service staff;

NOW, THEREFORE, resolves, that:

Government presents and tables the payroll Audit that has been conducted:

(ii) Government provides a road map to deal with and address the unlawfully employed workers appearing on the payroll within 14 days from adoption of this motion.

MR. MHLANGA: I second.

MR. MUDIWA: I thank you for giving me this opportunity to express my heart felt disappointment with the failure by the Government to announce the implementation of the skills audit done by Ernst and Young in November 2010.

We have received several promises by Government in this House during Question Time from the late Hon. Mukonoweshuro, from the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Prof. Mutambara that the results of the Audit will be announced and an Action Plan will be announced in this august House. How soon is soon, Deputy Prime Minister? We hope that is going to come very soon.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I have researched and found the result of the Audit and I wonder why Government is not sensitive about it? The Audit shows that there are about 75 000 ghost workers out of a total of 188 000 people employed by various ministries. There are 75 273 civil servants without minimum qualification as required by the Public Service Commission for designated positions. Records show that there are 3 593 civil servants appointed on or after 1 January 2007 who have no verifiable documentation relating to police clearance, medical clearance, appointment letters and appointment forms. This is a serious procedural lapse and gross violation of the provision of the Public Service regulation, Health Service Regulation and Documented Salary Service Bureau Procedures. Mr. Speaker Sir, the audit further noticed that on the scrutiny of 10 753 civil servants records, it was observed that they do not have either police or medical clearance. This is again a serious violation of Government rules and regulations relating to recruitment and hiring of civil servants. It should be further investigated to determine who is responsible for these lapses.

The audit information also shows that 6 345 civil servants obtained both their police and medical clearance after their dates of appointment, a violation of rules and procedures of employment. About 10 135 civil servants who have been appointed in various ministries are in excess of their authorised establishment and were appointed without the necessary Treasury concurrence, which is illegal. The audit says there are also 90 cases of civil servants with different Employment Contract numbers with the same national identity numbers and should therefore be considered as civil servants potentially holding multiple civil service jobs. Also Mr. Speaker Sir, 335 civil servants have a duplicate NSSA ID number. Furthermore, it should be noted that one particular NSSA number 477555559 was found 91 times in the data file. Mr. Speaker Sir, the results of the report reveal that at that time, there was an invisible hand other than the Public Service doing human resources management in Government.

This House would like assurance from the Public Service Commission that they are still in control of human resources in Government. The Government should come in the open to disapprove the audit with facts and advise this House on the corrective measures taken. Mr. Speaker Sir, all the Members of Parliament here, are aware that in their constituencies, there are some people who are earning Government salaries without actually doing the job because they are part of the ghosts. In my constituency for instance, just to mention a few, I have got names by Tawanda Muunguri, John Mapuka, Simba Mazikana, Mary Zhawari, Desire Mapuka and Jennifer Anesu Marimanzi. All these are earning money from the Government without doing anything. These are known to be getting money from Government every pay date but they are not doing any work.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I have estimated that if the Government takes seriously this matter, they can liberate every month $25 million if ghost workers are removed. This money can go towards the increment of genuine civil servants' salaries. I therefore urge the Government to present the Ernst and Young skills audit report to this House giving a clear road map of implementing the recommendations as a matter of urgency so as to earn credibility from the civil servants. I thank you.

MR. MHLANGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to support my colleague. This is a very important audit, this audit Mr. Speaker, I tell you if it was reviewed before we made our budget, our budget was going to enable us to pay our civil servants a better salary. Mr. Speaker, our civil servants are actually getting poor salaries because of these ghost workers. In my constituency, we have got about 15 of these ghost workers who are purported to be Youth Development Officers. Most of these Youth Development Officers are not trained, they are just simple people who are just given salaries. If you go and check, these youths are not qualified but when you go and check with the civil servants records, they are put there under officers in the Agriculture Ministry. We know them as Youth Ward Officers who are not doing anything but they are draining a lot of money from the fiscus. If you go again, you find them in the Housing Ministry. These people are disturbing the proper workers. They are staying in the houses of civil servants. Most of them are just youth operatives. When you look in the budget, like what my colleague was saying, we might be saving a lot of money about $75 million and that $75 million would increase the salaries of the people. What we have seen Mr. Speaker Sir, is that some of these people are employed at farms of some people whilst they are being paid by the Government. We urge this audit to be reviewed quickly so that those farmers must use their money to pay their workers other than the Government which is poorly paying the civil servants. I support my colleague.

MR. CROSS: Mr. Speaker Sir, one of the things that should be recognised is that this audit exercise was extremely important. When this audit came, we discovered that in fact we have no less than five separate payrolls in Government and there are many duplications in terms of payment of civil servants. In about eight months period, they consolidated these several payrolls into a single record system for all civil servants in Zimbabwe. I think this made a foundation for management of human resources in Government. Since we have started the audit, I cannot understand why the Government and the Cabinet is reluctant to release the report for public examination. There is nothing really in my view that should be kept secret from the general public and this House. One aspect I strongly support is that the report should be tabled in this House with immediate effect without any further delay. In so far as the problem of ghost workers is concerned, I think the figure of 75 000 ghost workers is in fact not supported by the report itself. There are substantial numbers of real ghost workers in the report where workers have not presented themselves to prove that they actually existed. These people should be dismissed and be removed from the payment system immediately. There is a number of 17 000 workers who have no job description. This means they have been appointed to positions that do not exist within the civil service. This has to be explained by the relevant line ministry. How on earth could this happen?

There is no doubt in my mind that if we do implement the results of this audit, we will end up with a streamlined, professional civil service. We should be able to meet our needs as a nation, we should reduce our cost substantially in terms of parallel costs, but it will also enable us to enhance the remuneration of those civil servants who have been properly appointed who are working at their jobs on daily basis and deserve better remuneration. I strongly support this motion which is before the House.

MR. MUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on this good motion. Whilst we agree that ........-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, order, hon members order.

MR. MUZA: Whilst I agree with the motion, I would like to urge this House to critically analyse how we ended up with the lot which is referred to as ghost workers, and also draw a lot of our attention on the definition of ghost workers, whether the definition used by the firm which carried out the audit is actually a true definition or it is an implied definition which then becomes misleading to this House.

Firstly, we know because of sanctions, this country went through a very turbulant economic era where the civil service was failing to even recruit a grade seven qualified worker in any institution. Those who were qualified according to the definition in that report were actually leaving this country without even resigning. Most of the institutions were exposed to closure. The Public Service had no mechanism to make for gaps, besides, to say those who could volunteer and qualified on an average rating, can then fill up those positions to keep institutions going.

After a while, when the situation was beginning to normalise, following the GNU, now we want to dump all that slot as if they are useless. That will be unfair for this august House to sit down and actually refer to the genuinely employed work force as bogus or ghost workers as the definition is being used in that report. We need to show respect to workers and citizens of this country especially when we as Government, as Parliament are charged with responsibility to see that the economy is run well and institutions, especially the Public Service, they then must account for what has happened.

*When we came here after the GNU for example, if we use the example of teachers, there was nothing that was moving, when we started using US$, teachers who were there were not qualified. This is what we were talking about, sanctions. We agreed as Government that all the teachers who had abandoned their posts should come back and do the work they were qualified for. Those people we had employed to assist the Government, we did not put up any mechanism of how they will be dealt with, these are the people who are referred to as ghost workers.

I stand here saying that if the august House would support such things, then we are lost. We should be the ones protecting these people who were employed when we were in trouble -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Hon members please, order. I think I should change the sitting arrangement in order to bring order and sanity in this House. With effect from next week, I will be announcing new sitting arrangement in this House in particular those who make noise at the back there I want them close.

MR. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker, I want to remind my colleagues that what this motion seeks this House to do is to compel the Government to table a report of the payroll that was conducted at the request of Government itself. It is quite a legitimate request and I see no problem why we are debating more on this issue when the request is very simple.

Secondly, the motion also seeks that the Government should provide a road map to deal with the anomalies which were found to be prevailing in the employment of some of the workers. With my little knowledge of management especially what they call management services, before someone is employed, it starts with an organisational structure. An organisational structure should come up with the levels and the titles within an organisation. After that, you look at the systems which are required to be used in that particular organisation. After you have done that you then look at the manning levels. After that you look at the input, amount of work, what is it that you require to be done and how many people should be able to carry out that duty. This is the responsibility of the Public Service Commission.

When I used to work for the Grain Marketing Board, we used to have very vibrant management services, section of the Public Service Commission. This was a professional board which would look at any organisation and say for it to be effective, what is the kind of structure which we must have in an organisation. This, I think Mr. Speaker, has been thrown out of the window by the Public Service Commission. It seems the employment is now based on who is who and also sometimes on patronage.

I want to challenge the Minister of Youth, to come to this House and give a report on the performance of those people who we call 'youth development officers'. Every Zimbabwean must sing for his supper and must contribute positively. These are some of the people who are employed by the State. The long and short of it is this, we have people who give 100% to this Government. People who can not be paid adequately because our payroll is too big. The consequence of the size of our payroll is that we are unable to carry out capital projects in Zimbabwe surely because the payroll is too big. I see no reason why we should protect the people who are not contributing towards the building of Zimbabwe.

Therefore, the onus is on the Public Service Commission. They came out in the media saying that they have nothing to hide, saying that all their work is above board. The Public Service Commission must now demand that the Minister of Public Service take the report which was produced on their own initiative to this House so that we can get it. I do not think as a country we will develop when we even afford a pay rise for people who virtually do nothing. I can give an example, I have more than ten people in my constituency who I know by names, who wake up everyday, do their business; some hon members are confirming that only ten? That means we have several people we are paying for doing nothing. As a country, if we can boast saying that we have people who are paid and who do nothing for this country, then we are doomed. I do not see us doing anything because it only needs common sense to realise that we have to reward those people who are working. We have to reward the people who contribute. The most unfortunate thing is that those people who are getting salaries by doing nothing, the only thing they can do is to make sure that the Government collapses.

My plea is that the Public Service Commission, as it is saying that everything is above board, should push the Minister of Public Service to bring this audit report to this House. That is why we as Members of Parliament, it is our responsibility to have an oversight over Government and the Government has also proved that it has no solution whatsoever. They are even replacing those ghost workers with other ghost workers. If we do not have the ghost workers, why can this report not be brought to this House and we debate.

MR. MUDARIKWA: Good afternoon to you Mr Speaker Sir. The motion we are discussing at the present moment is very improper because the late Minister Mukonoweshuro came to this august House and explained that he was going to bring the report to Parliament. It is unfortunate that the mover of the motion was not there. He was in jail serving a prison term in Mutare, so he did not know what really happened. The issue we are discussing here is on the basis of hearsay which is unacceptable. We cannot discuss on a hear say. What we need to do is to wait for the report to be brought to the august House and then we discuss.

At the present moment people are saying they know someone who is a ghost worker, how do you know there is a ghost worker when the report has not yet been brought to the august House. The other thing also is that I am informed that the mover of the motion was also a ghost worker at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. His hands are dirty. He has no authority to bring such a motion to the august House. What we need to do ..............

MR. MUDIWA: Point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, the hon member is referring to me as once a ghost worker at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. I was actually Director of Information Technology in the Reserve Bank. The hon. member should withdraw that.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, hon. Member. Surely you can not refer to another hon. member as a ghost worker or having been a ghost worker at some stage. Hon. Member, when the Chair is still speaking you sit, and therefore, can you kindly withdraw that statement.

MR. MUDARIKWA: I withdraw Mr. Speaker, I said former ghost worker because a ghost worker is somebody..............

MR SPEAKER: Order, I do not want an elaboration, just withdraw.

MR MUDARIKWA: The House must be informed of what is a ghost worker. A ghost worker is a person who is employed without any advertising, a situation which used to happen then in some of these parastatals where people were employed at funerals and be put in positions of high authority in those organisations. We at this moment Mr. Speaker, want to know when the report is going to be brought to this august House. When the report comes here, we can then discuss. The greatest thing which is unfortunate is when people are saying there are youth workers who are ghost workers, how did you find that out. The mover of the motion comes from Manicaland where the Johane Marange or Johane Masowe, maybe there were some divine intervention where he was informed by the divine spiritual intervention so that he would predict and guess that there are some ghost workers. As it is now, in the absence of that report, there are no ghost workers. There will be ghost workers when we get the report. What the auditors say is only true when we see it.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for allowing me to contribute to this motion and it is my wish that the debate on this motion be adjourned until we get the audited report, then we will discuss.

MR. M. SHOKO: Firstly, what we want to talk about is that, both sides of the House are in agreement that the report should be tabled in this House so that we may see if the ghost workers are there, that is a fact. That the ghost workers are under qualified is also a fact. That they are not working is a fact, that civil servants are under paid is a fact, that the money that pays the ghost workers if they are removed can improve civil servants salaries.

* We have agreed unanimously in this Housthat the audit report should be tabled in this honourable House. We are also aware of the fact that these ghost workers are under qualified for the jobs they are doing. It is also a fact that civil servants are underpaid, it is also a fact that if these ghost workers are eliminated, monies accruing will be adequate to satisfy the financial needs of civil servants. I am also afraid of the fact that the deterioration in service provision is being alluded to the existence of sanctions and this means that one of these days, I will find myself being treated by an under qualified doctor who may end up killing me because of his incompetence. We now await the audit report which was undertaken by officials who were paid for the task.

This audit report should be tabled in this august House so that the whole country is made aware of the fact that Form Four learners are now taught by under-qualified teachers, some with as only 3 'O' levels to their credit and this happened during the tough times. These under qualified teachers have occupied posts which could have been taken up by degreed lecturers. The report must be tabled in this House immediately so that this House and the nation get to know what is happening in our economic.

MS. A. NDLOVHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to add my voice to this motion which in my view is a very noble motion. I want to support the view raised by Hon. Mudarikwa that the report must be presented to this House so that we are able to ascertain if there is any money being paid to the so called ghost workers. Recognising, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the civil service is facing a lot of challenges, conditions of service are not good at all. So it will be prudent Mr. Speaker Sir, for this House to ascertain whether or not we do have these ghost workers. I do not believe Mr. Speaker, that we have any ghost workers. Proper Human Resource Management requires Mr. Speaker Sir, that the employer should be responsible for the capacitation of human capital, in the first place before recruiting. So we need the report to come to the House, we critically analyse it and then recommend ways of legitimising the problem. Thank you.

MR. CHIKWINYA : Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would also like to add my voice to this noble motion before us today, which seeks to compel the government to bring before this House the audit report so that the nation can actually establish the status quo of civil servants within the nation.

Mr. Speaker Sir, let me first of all try to dwell on the intention of the audit as to why Cabinet carried out this audit. There are critically two issues which this audit was looking at, there is an issue of skills establishment. The period proceeding 2009, before the formation of the Inclusive Government, it is well known to us that it was a period of economic hardships due to various reasons critically to the misgovernance by the Government then. Within this regard it means that most of our skilled labour actually migrated to other countries which offered better remuneration. We then had a situation where for example, where a hospital administrator, which qualifications might actually require a degreed person who had migrated to greener pastures; a person in position of a clerk was promoted to a hospital administrator and it meant that at present day this clerk remains a hospital administrator but does not have the requisite skill of carrying out administrative duties as required by proper qualifications of that position.

We also have positions of a headmaster who is supposed to have certain requisite skills but because the people of that position have migrated to other countries for greener pastures, people of lesser skills were then promoted to those high posts. Therefore, we have institutions which are being run by people who are under qualified, this therefore means that there are people who are over paid simply because they are under-qualified for those positions.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there is also an issue of head count, the Government, as it stands, has got a certain bill of people which it is supposed to accommodate at a certain given time but because of mismanagement and misgovernment of the institution of the public service, we ended up having a blotted head count in the public service institutions to the extent that other positions have got duplicate occupation or even others having multiple occupation. Mr. Speaker Sir, we all know that the audit exercise itself drew quite a huge sum from the fiscus. The major bleeding for the fiscus came in form of corruption which was promoted within the Public Service Commission as a result of how these people were being employed. This brings the issue of ghost workers. I differ from the previous speaker who said ghost employees are people who would have been employed without advertisements. In my view, ghost workers are workers who do not even exist but there is an account which is drawing money from the fiscus where one person existing, is actually accessing that account on behalf a non existent person. To me that is a ghost worker.

There are employees in the public service who are said to be there, who have existing account numbers which are actually drawing money from the fiscus but these accounts are actually being run by the person who is actually enjoying the money on behalf of those non-existent people. This is corruption which is actually bleeding the fiscus, this is the money which has been summed up to say if these monies can be accounted for, it can actually increase the remuneration of the genuine workers who are currently in the public service.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to answer why did we create these so called ghost workers. It is especially in the form of multiple occupation of positions and in the form of redundant positions as alluded to by other speakers. In 2007, on the 1st of January it has been read out to us by the mover of the motion that 3 500 workers were employed on the 1st of January 2007, the major reason being the period during elections. The party in Government then saw it fit among themselves to use the Public Service as a campaign tool for their members to carry out party activities whilst campaigning for the party, at the same time being paid by the Government. Such remuneration Mr. Speaker, did not end there. When the elections of 2008 were concluded, these people continued to be on our payroll, these people continued to draw money from the fiscus. That is why they are occupying redundant positions of ward officers. Like in Mbare, you find a person being named an agricultural officer when there are no agricultural activities in Mbare.

We have a problem that again these people can not be removed from the payroll because we have leaders in the Inclusive Government who continue to utter statements which put the nation into an electioneering mode. It means that these leaders in the Inclusive Government who lead the parties which are also going to be contesting in elections will engage their vehicles of elections and want to pay them using the fiscus.

I know other Members of Parliament are pointing that the Minister responsible for the Public Service is from my Party, which is the MDC-T, but I put it to this House that the Public Service Audit Report has been placed before Cabinet. It is now the responsibility for the Chairperson of Cabinet who is the President himself, must direct that the Report must come to Parliament. The Minister has done his work. He has made sure that the report is there. He has presented it to Cabinet and so, it is the reluctance of the Chairperson of Cabinet who is putting us to the situation which we are in today. I am not surprised why, the Chairperson of the Cabinet, if we are going to give him all his positions - the Chairperson of the Cabinet, the Head of State and the President; Why he is reluctant to bring this Report to this august House is that, he still wants such members to continue to benefit and to continue to be engaging in the electioneering mode because he is the one who is always uttering electioneering statements. Mr. Speaker, I thank you.

MR. BHASIKITI: I want to thank the mover of this motion for having a genuine concern that an Audit Report which was carried out for the civil service be brought to this House for consideration. I agree with him. That is a genuine concern and we all want that Report to be tabled in this House.

Having said that, you will agree with me that the motion limits us just to agree to the Report being presented to the House. It does not give us levity to extenuate and postulate on hearsay on the information purported to be in the report. It would be unparliamentary and unprofessional to spend our energy on issues which we are supposed to be given so that we look at them in a fair manner. Those hon members like Hon. Chikwinya, who created his definition here, perhaps we will be surprised when the report is presented and it denies his definition, then his whole argument will be lost.

So, to guide the House from further deviation and going further astray, Mr. Speaker, I request that the mover of the motion, although he was in jail when the Minister reported, I think he has a genuine concern. By the same token Mr. Speaker, I request him to wind up his motion after receiving support from us that members are agreeing with him. Then, the Report has to be tabled so that it can be taken tomorrow to those responsible and present that the House loves the Public Service Report and then we can have it and we come back and debate with facts. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

*MR. TACHIONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, for affording me this opportunity to debate this important motion. Without going any further, I prefer using my own mother language so that I can express myself in a better way.

Mr. Speaker, the issue that is before us is an issue we should take seriously as Members of Parliament because there is no Member of Parliament who does not have civil servants in his constituency who are being robbed of their salaries by ghost workers. When we say ghost workers, we are referring to people who reap where they did not sow. They are people who are stealing from the Government. We can not talk about the issue because the report was not tabled in Parliament. We want to politicise everything but what we need is just to address those people who are being paid, yet they are not supposed to be paid. The issue is not about the Member of Parliament who raised the motion that he had been arrested before. We are talking about the people who are reaping where they did not sow. What is stopping the Report from being tabled in Parliament? There are very influential people who can just say one word and the thing is done. Why are they not giving a directive for the Report to be tabled in Parliament? Civil servants are supposed to get that money which is going to where it is not supposed to go.

Ernst and Young was paid handsomely after doing the audit. What is stopping us from having the Report here in Parliament, even tomorrow? There is a story behind this. We are not pointing fingers at anyone but what we are saying is all of us here are aware that there are people who are being paid who are not supposed to be paid -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- I was thinking that you will also have an opportunity to debate on this issue.

Mr. Speaker, the number of people who are not supposed to be getting paid is so huge that if we take the salaries that they are getting and we give them to those who are qualified to do the jobs, it would alleviate the problems that we are facing in Government.

For the first time here in Zimbabwe, the representatives of ZIMTA demonstrated against the Government knowing that things are not well. So, we should work together as Members of Parliament and forget about parties because at the end of the day, the people whom we represent in constituencies are the ones who matter and not that someone had been arrested before. I thank you.

+MR F M SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, for presenting me this opportunity of debating in my language.

Firstly, this audit report wanted to reveal a lot of things . It was not only about ghost workers but it was about the strength of the civil service manpower and to say how many people are qualified and how many people are not qualified. This was done for purposes of needs training. Let us take for example shortage of mathematics teachers, we train teachers for two years in mathematics and if we have a shortage of doctors we will train more doctors.

The objective of the audit report had a bigger picture, not just to say those who were not employed properly thus meaning irregular workers. A ghost worker is a term that is used in labour science. If you are paid for a job that you did not perform, then it means you are just as good as a ghost. Let us take for example, you are said to be working here and yet you are working in South Africa or overseas in London and get paid like any other teacher in Glen View, Mpopoma or Magwegwe.

Mr. Speaker, there was a story that was reported that there is a CIO operative who was working overseas but his wife was said to have been withdrawing his salary for the past two years. Those are the people we call irregular workers or ghost workers. I know of people, including teachers, who absconded to South Africa from Bulawayo running away from hunger and civic unrest, their children and wives remained behind collecting monies from ATMs.

During the auditing period, these family members and teachers also came to testify before headmasters of the respective schools but no report was made because these heads were also part of the corruptive scum because the headmasters had not informed the Salary Services Bureau (SSB) of the absenteeisms. So, this was a clear sign of corrupt activities emanating from the school heads, Public Service and the SSB.

Let us table this audit report so that you crush the rumour that states that there are 75 000 ghost workers. Rumours thrive on inadequate information. Who knows the number of civil servants including the unformed services, Army, Police and Prison Services? Every month if we are to release US$4 or US$5 million to pay civil servants, this will not be adequate. One wonders why there is a monthly recruitment of soldiers, police and prison officers at places such as Ntabazinduna/Mbembezi and Morris Depot when there are no salaries. Trained and armed people are a danger to society when they are not adequately remunerated such as giving them US$50 per month. As long as we are not pro-adequately remunerating civil servants, we are demotivating them.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we should not only target the ghost employees but we should also take to task the responsible employing authorities. The Public Service Commission is an Independent Board created by the Constitution of this country before 1980 by Ian Smith who wanted to protect the whites who were the majority in the civil service. This has not outlived its role. The report shows that there are 300 people who are employed who were born on 18 April, 1980.

The Comptroller and Auditor General released a report in the past to consecutive years indicating that there are about 10 000 workers who were not properly recruited. To buttress this, let us release the audit report tomorrow to shrug off the rumour mongers. Honourable Matibenga, the Minister of Public Service inherited a hot seat which was left by the late Honourable Mukonoweshuro who had begun rectifying these anomalies. I plead with you honourable Minister to go to Cabinet and correct this position.

My last contribution on this motion is as Members of Parliament, let us look for the culprit responsible for the recruitment of these 10 000 ghost workers, arrest, try and sentence them. We need to know where these ghost workers came from, was it from the Ministry of Youth, Women Affairs, Gender and Development, Ministry of Education or Police. Therefore we need to create a Commission which will investigate the Public Service Commission.

MR. MATSHALAGA: I would like to add my voice to this motion. I think it is most unfortunate that we have had to bring a motion to this House without a substantive report. I think what I will do is that I will premise my debate on what I have heard, which is even more dangerous. It is a good idea that the report should be tabled in Parliament, but what I have heard about definitions of a ghost worker - Mr. Speaker Sir, it leaves a lot to be desired. A ghost worker is not a person who is employed and has got a title in a system, that can not be a ghost worker. A ghost worker is not an identifiable physical person who reports for work in his district.

Mr. Speaker Sir, for those who went to school, they will know that a ghost worker exists only on the pay roll. What we have heard, there has been some reckless references to people who are employed in the district as promotion officers. This is a most unfortunate development Mr. Speaker Sir, because at district level that is where we need Agricultural Ward Promotion Officers. We might differ as to what they may work on, but as we develop further we need these multi purpose officers to assist our people in the various facets of life. These are the people who should be able to give us signals when things go wrong. We cannot therefore say Agricultural Promotion Officers are ghost workers.

There has also been a misleading statement that the ghost workers are getting at least US$75 million a month and that the honourable Minister of the Public Service could use that for salary increments. US$75 million is the amount that was said by the Hon. Mudiwa when he made his presentation. He pointed out that there were 75 500 ghost workers and he calculated that there could be a saving of US$75 million per month. There is nothing further from the truth than that because it means that the ghost workers are paid even higher salaries than even us Parliamentarians because 7 500 into US$75 million that means they are getting US$1 000 per month.

When we come to this august House, I am happy that at least the debate has narrowed to the fact that we want the facts on the ground. I am at least encouraged by Hon. Sibanda's statement that he has tried to steer the House by saying what was the purpose of this audit. The purpose was not for ghost workers. Ghost workers could be there but it was for capacity building to see how we could build an efficient and effective public service. I hope I will join the debate once I get the report. I thank you.

MR. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for according me this opportunity. First and foremost, I would like to thank the hon. member who has moved this powerful motion in this august House. I think that it is always noble that when we do the audit we await to account what we would have audited. By virtue of this House being an arm of Government, I think it is our right to have this report being tabled in this House then we assess and come up with the resolution of the way forward for the good of the country. Mr. Speaker Sir, when we deal with issues of this nature to respect the civil servants and as well to respect the cause as to why we are here. We are here to represent the people during their time of need and during their time of having.

If we look at the civil servants, the paltry salaries that they are getting, it is bad but it is imported to note that the message that is being put across which is as a result of this audit, it involves quite a number of people who are getting money from the Government being purported to be working in several sectors of the ministries of Government when they do not exist, henceforth they become ghost workers.

The other area which involves these people; there were those people who were employed without proper procedure and they are getting monies especially in rural areas being called Ward Officers. But, when we look at how these people were recruited, we find that most of these people were recruited during the period of the 2008 June elections. They were there to advocate for a political party, they were not doing anything for the country. So, no wonder in this House we have people crying that this audit report cannot come and we cannot discuss this thing. Why? Because they are benefiting as a result of these thugs who are in rural areas who are purporting to be Government workers but they do not have positions.

I think in every constituency, we have civil servants more so we have teachers who are doing good for our children and the country regardless of the salary they are getting. It is no wonder some people are not fighting for them in this House for these ghost workers to be scratched so that we decrease the money that is going to these people who are not doing anything and we have more money going to those people who are doing a good cause. Their salaries should be increased.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I appeal to every Member of Parliament to stand as a team and fight for this audit report to be tabled in this House for everyone to implement the good cause of this report. When we look at this audit which was done when we had the Hon. Mukonoweshuro as the honourable minister, there is no reason why two to three years down the line it should not be implemented. Why are we not endorsing this thing of not bringing the audit report? Why is someone standing on the audit report?

MR. BHASIKITI: Point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, what is your point of order.

MR. BHASIKITI: Mr. Speaker, we should do justice to the House. We should not just have people's time wasted listening to.... -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon members, we have a point of order. Hon. Ndhlovu.

MS. A. NDHLOVU: The hon. member says that we must endorse a report which we have not seen. Mr. Speaker, I think that the hon. members in this House have seen the report. I thank you.

MR. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, regardless of the problems I have encountered, I will stand forth.

Mr. Speaker, I only wanted to add my voice to this good cause but I appeal to the House to push for the Audit report to be tabled in this House. Then when it is tabled, I appeal to everyone to cooperate with what was done through this Report. We have to note that this Report was done by Ernest and Young of which it means it involved a lot of money which was invested but two years down the line, nothing has been implemented - why?

I thank you Mr. Speaker for according me this opportunity and I want to thank hon. members for listening quietly. Thank you.

MR. SULULU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I just want to add my voice to this very important motion. I would start by saying, I am a member of the Public Accounts Committee, together with Hon. Bhasikiti who is sitting there.

I think, as a Committee, we debated this issue in our Committee and made substantial recommendations to Parliament pertaining the ghost workers issue. I still recall very well, it is unfortunate, that the Minister is late now, Prof. Mukonoweshuro, telling us that the Report was finished and was sitting somewhere there in Cabinet. It is so sad and worrying at the same time that it is almost three years now - Hon. Mutseyami, you were quoting two years that we made recommendations pertaining to this issue and nothing was done. It means that the work that we are doing as Committee members is being put to waste - it is very, very unfortunate.

I would suggest that maybe Parliament should come up with an implementation Committee so that at the end of the day we will not be talking about these issues which should have been solved about two to three years ago - it is a sad scenario. If you look at some of our Members of Parliament, they might not want to see this Audit Report because they are involved - it is so sad. I am saying it because public funds are being abused - you can just imagine, if you have got your own company, you cannot have someone sitting there, not doing any work but getting paid. We have people in our constituencies there that are being paid for doing absolutely nothing - that is a sad scenario. We have to be serious as Members of Parliament, we are talking about funds being used to pay for ghost workers. Let us be serious, I urge the other Members of Parliament from the other side not to only look at the individuals but be looking at the nation as a whole. Let us put public money to good use. I thank you.

MRS. MAHOKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to make my contribution to this motion that has been moved. We need to wait for the Report to be tabled in Parliament so that we discuss it once and for all instead of debating it now. We are still speculating on the funds that were used before the Report is even tabled. Why are we afraid to wait for the Report to be tabled in Parliament? Are we hiding something? The Minister is available, alive and kicking and earning a salary, so let us be patient and wait for the Report. Let us not show disrespect to the one who is to table the Report.

Let me also say to those that keep arguing, maybe someone is promising the civil servants a salary increment when they are not supposed to give them any money. Let us be honest and admit that civil servants need an increment, even the Audit fund should be diverted to civil service salary increments so that they get their just salaries instead of us promising them something that is beyond our reach. As we sit here debating, we never made a budget to see how much the increment to civil servants will be, we just think of our own welfare.

I think it would be wrong for us to consider the Audit Report before it is tabled - I do not think that would be fair, Mr. Speaker. As leaders, we should ensure that the Report is tabled - what are we afraid of? What is in the Report? The Report is going to reveal the true picture of whether there indeed exists ghost workers, if they are there, who hired them? Why is the Ministry not firing them? Otherwise all this debate is in vain and utter speculation - we cannot just sit here wasting time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER [PROF. MUTAMBARA]: Mr. Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th February, 2012.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER [PROF. MUTAMBARA], the House adjourned at Six Minutes to Four o'clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 38 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 28 FEBRUARY 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 23