Inclusive Government (IG) Should Treat Civil Servants with Dignity

Mavambo.Kusile.Dawn (M.K.D), the Party of Choice, is deeply concerned about an open display of insincerity and insensitivity to the grievances of civil servants by Political Party leaders in Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government (IG).

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It is almost two and a half years (2 ½) years since formation of the Inclusive Government (IG), but sad to note that the period has seen the country’s dedicated Civil Servants receive one empty promise after the other. Civil Servants have virtually been stripped of their dignity by shameless Politicians making up the IG, who are not appreciating the positive contribution from this hardworking and very patient group.

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Whereas M.K.D understands that currently the economy is stressed, the suffering of Civil Servants is a result of wrong priority setting by the Inclusive Government. M.K.D also understands the anger and frustration among the Government employees, but commend their disciplined conduct. Leaders of Political Parties in the IG are driven by the thinking that if they continue to ignore civil servants’ grievances, they will manage to stifle independent thought among these enlightened employees. They want civil servants to be always coming back to them with a begging bowl. What we would like to tell IG leaders is that their misjudging of Civil Servants has exposed them to thorough public scrutiny.

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ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-M/N politicians continue to put their comfort first, as shown by the rate at which they are drawing huge allowances through endless and unfruitful foreign trips. We do not understand why a small country like Zimbabwe would need a twin chamber Legislature. We have Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators who are drawing monthly salaries from the country’s fiscus.

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The country is endowed with vast mineral resources, which we believe if proper priorities are set, Government workers could be cushioned from the harsh economic environment. Civil Servants are an indispensable group to any country. M.K.D acknowledges the important role played by the nation’s Civil Servants even for a very minimal reward.

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Leaders in the IG should treat Civil Servants with respect, by engaging them seriously in formal discussions so as to reach an amicable agreement. The approach which is currently being used by IG leaders of trying to address workers’ problems in the media is not workable neither does it show any seriousness at all on the part of the employer. The leaders in the IG should deliver pronto, the promises they made to Civil Servants.

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In addition to addressing Civil Servants grievances, IG leaders should also address issues such as that of ghost workers, which has resulted in the oversupply of deadwood. The IG should act swiftly on the issue of ghost workers as there is a pressing need to strike a balance between sustainability of awarding a salary increment on such a bloated Civil Service, and service delivery on the part of the workers. M.K.D believes that it is abuse of taxpayers’ money to pay salaries to workers who are not doing their work because they have no resources and materials. The IG should rationalize the numbers of employees in order to remain with a lean but efficient Civil Service which is well rewarded and well resourced. The country’s health institutions do not have adequate drugs and equipment to save lives. There is a critical shortage of stationery in schools while Agritex Officers are operating without adequate equipment. This is unbelievable, given the fact that Agriculture is the backbone of our economy.

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M.K.D is calling upon leaders in the IG to urgently reprioritize Government expenditure. If Parliament of Zimbabwe can formally validate a loan deal of ninety eight million dollars (USD98 000 000), for a Military and Defence College, what stops the executive arm of Government from negotiating other loans to revive the economy, supply medical, educational and sanitary services. The IG should stop prioritising buying of luxurious and expensive vehicles for themselves, Military, Police and Intelligence top brass, when a larger group of Civil Servants is wallowing in abject poverty.

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The IG is sitting on a time bomb and there is an urgent need to address grievances faced by the majority of Civil Servants.

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Let’s Get Zimbabwe Working Again. KaOne!

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By Velta Zumbika (Ms.)

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M.K.D National Management Committee (NMC) Member

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Ends…………

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Velta Zumbika on veezum@yahoo.com or +263 (9) 285 918 (Bulawayo), +263772 253 014.