16 June 2017

Zimbabwe: Chitungwiza's Dilemma - 800 Out of 1142 Workers Unqualified - Downsizing Recommended

An estimated 800 out of 1 142 workers at Chitungwiza Municipality are not qualified for their jobs, it has emerged.

In an interview with The Herald, chairperson of the commission appointed by Government to bring sanity to Chitungwiza, Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira said council will downsize.

The MDC-T-run council failed to deliver basic services, forcing Government to appoint a commission chaired by Mr Pawadyira. "Quite a number do not have requisite qualifications for the jobs they are doing and currently we are in the process of downsizing from 1 142 to 308," he said.

Mr Pawadyira said workers with four O-Levels will be spared. "Some of the people identified as having inadequate qualifications but have four or three subjects at O-Level, we could give them a year or a year-and-a-half because they are trainable. "The time-frame could be enough for them to improve on their qualifications and once they get to five subjects, we put them in the system. The rest I am afraid they have to go," he said.

Mr Pawadyira also indicated that council was taking disciplinary measures against workers who refused to submit their academic qualifications during a skills audit. Over 50 employees refused to submit their academic papers. "We have a situation where 53 of the respondents did not respond at all.

"We are going to treat it as an act of misconduct," said Mr Pawadyira. "We want to know why they failed to respond despite extending the submission period for them to comply. Either they are there alive or they are ghost workers. We will have a discussion with them so that disciplinary action is taken."

Mr Pawadyira said they also suspected that some workers submitted wrong information to save their jobs. "We suspect some are giving us wrong information and we will have to check with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education through the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec)," he said.

Mr Pawadyira said the skills audit was aimed at ridding council of unqualified elements. He said council was going to borrow $200 000 from FBC Bank to cover retrenchment costs. But the Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Workers Union chairperson for Chitungwiza Mr William Makoto said it was wrong for council to dismiss workers.

"This is not the right time for council to dismiss people because those who were already fired are suffering and were never given their packages," he said.

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