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Mnangagwa commissions 18 Public Service Commission buses

by Staff reporter
18 Nov 2022 at 05:05hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday commissioned 18 Public Service Commission (PSC) buses in Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province, under the Civil Service Rural Transport Scheme, which seeks to ease transport challenges faced by rural-based civil servants through providing them with reliable transport.

The scheme is a fulfilment of Government's mantra of "leaving no one and no place behind", and goes a long way in incentivising public sector workers through improved conditions of service.

To date, 91 buses have been availed to Government workers out of a target of 150 buses after 25 buses were commissioned by President Mnangagwa in 2019 and an additional 33 in 2020, plus 13 in 2021. However, these were mainly targeting urban areas.

The colourful commissioning event was witnessed by thousands of people including traditional leaders who thronged Pelandaba Stadium to meet the country's leadership and kept cheering as President Mnangagwa was delivering his keynote address.

The President said the commissioned buses will be shared among the eight rural provinces while more efforts are being made to procure an additional fleet to ensure all rural public sector workers were catered for.

Under this phase, Matabeleland South province received three buses, Matabeleland North two, Midlands three, Manicaland two, Masvingo two, Mashonaland Central two, Mashonaland East two and Mashonaland West Province two.

President Mnangagwa said the intervention was in response to an outcry by civil servants based in rural areas who were facing transport challenges.

"We have many civil servants working in rural areas in our districts and provinces and we are giving them these buses for ease of transportation," said the President.

"They should be proud to own these buses, not what I have seen in another country where public sector workers board buses with goats and chickens. Here they will just carry their handbags.

"We are handing over these buses to the local leadership and they should look after them well."

The 18 buses were purchased by Treasury and are part of a phase-by-phase programme, which will see the Government acquiring more buses to be deployed to various provinces under the Civil Service Rural Transport Scheme, while others will be deployed to service the public.

In his remarks, PSC chairman, Dr Vincent Hungwe, said the acquisition of the new buses was another milestone in fulfilment of the promises made by the Second Republic towards improving conditions of service for its workers.

"Your Excellency (President Mnangagwa), your administration has successfully sustained its commitment to improving the working conditions of its workers. In your visionary wisdom and leadership, you directed us to improve access to affordable transport for the civil servants.

"We are happy to inform you that with support from Treasury, this year we have acquired an additional 18 buses," said Dr Hungwe.

He said yesterday's commissioning of buses was special as it marked the launch of the Civil Service Rural Transport Scheme consistent with the mantra of "leaving no one and no place behind".

"All the buses you are commissioning today will ply rural routes. Government workers in rural areas across all provinces will be availed transport services to enable access to retail and other urban services on a monthly basis," said Dr Hungwe.

He applauded civil servants who have remained steadfast and committed to duty in challenging circumstances.

Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) president, Mrs Cecelia Alexander, said for a long-time civil servants have been waiting for a day when they will be able travel to and from work with dignity and decency away from the hustle and bustle of the "mushika-mushika" and the "hlalani four-four".

"Never shall we again go to work sitting on top of a gearbox with all the heat and sweat. May I pause to request my fellow civil servants here present to give a round of applause to His Excellency, our caring President and the Second Republic for this thoughtful gesture," she said.

"May this spirit last. As ZCPSTU, we have so much to celebrate in regard to the commitment of the Second Republic towards improving the terms and conditions for its workers and this in spite of the fact that more could still be done."

Mrs Alexander commended President Mnangagwa's open door policy and readiness to listen to the plight of public sector workers. She also showered praises on the Government for granting them other benefits that include the rebate on the motor vehicle scheme, commitment towards gradually restoring the value of wages to pre-October 2018 levels, enactment of the TNF Act and its ongoing operationalisation, among others.

Mrs Alexander said Government workers are determined to improve public services for national benefit and pledged to serve with commitment to fulfil the national vision.

Cabinet Ministers, senior civil servants and traditional leaders also attended the event.

Source - The Herald