1 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF, Civil Servants At Loggerheads

Zanu PF and war veterans in Mashonaland West are on a collision path with civil servants after announcing plans to supervise government workers in the province, allegedly to prevent them from abusing their offices and to curb corruption.

Mashonaland West Zanu PF chairman, Temba Mliswa, said the party was not happy with civil servants who participated in the last harmonised elections and reverted back to their positions soon after losing the polls.

"Zanu PF and war veterans are one and the same. We must always have an oversight over all civil servants in order to put a stop to corruption," Mliswa declared.

He said civil servants who "double" as politicians compromised their professionalism.

"We can't have civil servants doubling as politicians as first and foremost it is against our constitution and furthermore, it is a recipe for corruption as they become untouchables at their workplaces. This is not personal but we are trying to uphold the supreme law of the country so the issue is not debatable," said Mliswa.

He said section 200 (4) of the new constitution clearly states that members of the civil service must not be office-bearers of any political party.

But Mliswa said provincial and several district administrators in Mashonaland West are office-bearers in Zanu PF. He said some of them contested on a Zanu PF ticket and lost.

Asked how Zanu PF will monitor civil servants, Mliswa simply said all government workers should abide by resolutions of policy makers who are leaders of the ruling party.

The firebrand Mliswa who seems to have created more enemies out of his frank talk, said he would cause the law to be implemented by the Civil Service Commission (CSC)which was "sleeping on duty".

But Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Programmes and Communications officer Enock Paradzayi said his organisation was against the idea of forcing civil servants to resign before being elected into office.

"We are Zimbabweans and have the right to vote and be voted for, so this law which forces us to resign first before we are elected into a political office is misplaced," said Paradzayi.

Martin Mukusha a former teacher at Chikangwe High School who was fired after submitting his name for the still born provincial council on MDC-T ticket is a bitter man. He accused CSC of double standards. Mukusha claimed that Zanu PF members who contested were not affected and was surprised now why Mliswa was complaining.

He said Zanu PF's "crocodile tears" were stemming from factionalism rather than genuine concern.

"Some of us have been victimised, suspended and fired in each and every election since 2000 but nothing was done. Now, because of factionalism within Zanu PF, they want the law to be implemented," said Mukusha.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for comment.

Mliswa also said mechanisms were in place to monitor operations of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) within the province.

"On Monday [tomorrow], all administration district party and freedom fighters leadership will converge at the DA's office to be updated on the position of NGO's operating in the area, land and developmental issues and the role of municipalities, town and rural district councils and their performance," he said.

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