"As we compiled the statistics we got so far, we found out that 5 000 workers were non existent… Some of these workers are either dead or left the civil service for greener pastures, while others never set foot at the offices which they are said to be working," said the source participating in the exercise meant to flush out ghost workers and others who got on the government payroll on patronage basis .

"Another 1000 workers are fake teachers at non existent schools in the province, but, surprisingly, they had the Employment Code (EC) number."

They have so far inspected Gutu, Chiredzi, Bikita, Mwenezi, Masvingo Rural and Urban, among the eight districts in the province.

Contacted for a comment, Public Services Minister Prof Elias Mukonoweshuro said: "The audit process is a comprehensive process covering the whole country. We will not reveal piecemeal results for a specific province.

A team of independent auditors will collate and release the results for the whole country."
He said his Ministry would release the results for the whole country next year January.

"Let me assure you that the results will not be made a secret since they are a public matter. They will not be hidden from the public," Prof Mukonoweshuro said.

Youth Development minister Saviour Kasukuwere has already admitted that his ministry violated public service job recruitment regulations when it hired 13 000 youths just before last year’s bloody presidential election run-off to work nationwide as ward officers. Radio VOP