Zimbabwean civil servants exposed

HARARE – Almost half of Zimbabwe's civil servants are either not qualified or are not working, according to a leaked World Bank report.\r\n

Trade unions estimate that $15m ($9m) of state money is being lost each month paying such workers. Auditors found that one ministry appointed nearly 7,000 people on one day ahead of the 2008 election run-off.

\r\n

The damning findings of the audit have been with the cabinet for several months but it is understood it has not yet been discussed.

\r\n

The audit was carried out by Ernst and Young India in 2010 and covered the period 2007-9.

\r\n

This was a period when Zimbabwe’s economy was in meltdown – because of run-away inflation, the monthly salary of a teacher hardly paid for a single bus fare.

\r\n

This might partly explain why on the day of the audit, some 13,000 public workers were absent – from a total of 180,000. It found that 75,000 state workers did not have the qualifications needed to do the job.

\r\n

‘Frantic’

\r\n

Since the power-sharing government was set up in 2009, an extra 40,000 civil servants have been employed.The ministry for indigenisation and youth employed nearly 7,000 people on a single day between the first and second round of the 2008 presidential elections.

\r\n

This was a time when the military and supporters of President Robert Mugabe were accused of systematically assaulting those believed to have voted for his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, in the first round.   

\r\n

Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party, which joined a unity government in order to halt the economic collapse, has been criticised for failing to speak out about the report.