Govt moves to stamp out ghost workers

Govt moves to stamp out ghost workers
Published: 05 October 2017
The Zimbabwe government will extend the biometric registration exercise that it is carrying out at the National Social Security Authority to the public service to weed out ghost workers, a Cabinet Minister said on Wednesday.

The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) is currently registering pensioners afresh using a biometric system also aimed at weeding out ghost pensioners.

Through biometric registration, the government expects to flush out ghost employees who have been draining the overly burdened fiscus.

Zimbabwe's wage bill chews a huge chunk off the national budget, which is funded entirely on taxes, a situation Finance Minister Patrick  Chinamasa is on record describing as unsustainable.

Public Service, Labour and Social Services Minister Priscah Mupfumira told the National Assembly that plans were in place to capture the biometrics of all civil servants.

"This exercise started with pensioners, but it is just not for pensioners only. All NSSA contributors are expected to register biometrically," she said.

"We expect to extend the exercise to government workers and even our  vulnerable population, the elderly who are over 70 and those who are  disabled, we would want all those statistics to be captured  biometrically."

Last year, the government began restructuring the civil service on a  large scale, in line with recommendations of a 2015 civil service audit.

In June this year, the government reported that its decision to freeze recruitment of civil servants had lowered its wage bill to 65 percent of expenditure, from around 85 percent previously, and resulted in monthly savings of $10 million.

Ultimately, the government intends to cut the wage bill to at least 30  percent of revenue.

The Zimbabwe government has an estimated 250 000 strong workforce.

Although there is a freeze on employment, some critical departments such as health and education are allowed minimum recruitment periodically.

- New Ziana
Tags: Ghost,


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