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Govt reduces workforce to 10%

by Staff reporter
21 Jul 2021 at 07:49hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has further decongested its workforce to 10 percent from 40 percent and temporarily closed some of its district offices in Hwange after staffers tested Covid-19 positive.

In a circular dated July 19, Public Service Commission (PSC) Permanent Secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe directed Government departments to ensure that 90 percent of staffers worked from home to minimise physical interactions at offices and stem rising Covid-19 infections. Ambassador Wutawunashe said the new directive should be implemented with immediate effect.

"Reduce the number of staff coming to work from 40 percent to 10 percent for all the ministries, departments and agencies with the exception of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and designated critical services with immediate effect," said Ambassador Wutawunashe.

"Line ministries to rotate staff in such a manner that no employee shall remain at home for more than 21 days stretch. There shall be strict monitoring and enforcement of staff attendance at workplaces."

Ambassador Mutawunashe directed that social distancing be observed in PSC buses and that they carry a maximum of 35 passengers. Posting on microblogging site Twitter, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said the necessary changes would affect service delivery.

"Only 10 percent of civil servants are going to work as the PSC takes measures to decongest workspaces as part of the fight against Covid-19. This may have serious effect on the quality of service the public will receive, please bear with us," said Mr Mangwana.

Mr Nick Mangwana Meanwhile, some Government departments operating from the Hwange District Development Coordinator (DDCs) offices have temporarily closed after some staff members tested Covid-19 positive.

The DDC building houses Ministries of Local Government and Public Works, Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, and Mines and Mining Development. It also houses the Environment Management Agency, Registrar General office, ZimStats, District Development Fund, Forestry Commission and the Department of Lands, among others. Chronicle understands that six workers tested positive last week resulting in the closure of the whole complex on Friday for fumigation.

Those who tested positive are isolating at home. The premises were fumigated on Sunday paving way for opening of a few offices yesterday while others remained closed. Scores of people seeking to apply for birth certificates and National Identity cards were yesterday turned away as the Registry Office scaled down operations as a result of the positive cases.

Few staff at the office were serving clients who were seeking burial orders while those in need of other documents were being turned away. Hwange DDC Mr Simon Muleya said, "The premises have been fumigated and some are back at work. This is a busy place with citizens seeking various kinds of services. Those who tested positive are isolating at home," he said.

Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekai Padingani said Hwange remains the leading hotspot in the province. On Sunday the province recorded 60 new cases, 22 of them coming from Hwange. Dr Padingani said despite the increase in new cases in the coal mining town, uptake of vaccination exercise remains very low. He however, said the low number of people turning up for vaccination in the town could be a result of the huge number of positive cases as those who test positive are not vaccinated until they recover.

"There is no other institution hit by Covid-19 so far. On Sunday we reported 60 cases and a majority of them are from Hwange and we will continue intensifying sensitisation as we want people to come and get vaccinated," he said.

Last week, Binga District Hospital was hit by the virus with a number of the positive cases comprising pregnant women housed at the institution.

A few days ago, the Zimbabwe Power Company announced that the Hwange station had recorded 110 cases.

"The station is having an upsurge in Covid-19 cases and has so far recorded 110 cases to date with three recoveries. Contact tracing is underway for all the affected employees. Everyone is encouraged to adhere to Covid-19 regulations to ensure risk reduction," said the power station management in a statement.

Dr Padingani, who was in Bubi district yesterday, said there were queues in the area as people were getting vaccinated. He said about 60 returnees currently at a quarantine facility in Inyathi had tested negative and were waiting to be discharged.

Source - chronicle

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