HomeLocalMinister Admits illegally Hiring 13 000 Youths

Minister Admits illegally Hiring 13 000 Youths

YOUTH Development minister Saviour Kasukuwere this week admitted that his ministry violated public service job recruitment regulations when it hired 13 000 youths just before last year’s bloody presidential election run-off to work nationwide as ward officers.

Appearing before parliament’s public accounts committee on Monday, Kasukuwere said his ministry had between May and June 2008 employed 13 000 youths, not 10 277 as first revealed by the Comptroller and Auditor-General, Mildred Chiri, in her report to the House last month.

“He admitted before the committee that the procedures (in hiring the youths) were violated and the ministry was regularising,” a senior member of the committee said.

The regulations violated included the failure by the Public Service Commission to advertise for the posts and also failure to open personal files for the hired youths.

The ward officers did not have bank accounts to receive their salaries, rather the ministry used an imprest account from which money could be paid in advance to the youths.

“This was fraught with potential fraud risks,” the committee member said.

Officials from the Finance ministry who also attended the meeting admitted that they had erred by failing to check the list of employees before releasing funds for their payment.

“The Public Service Commission was culpable for the ghost workers because they waived proper procedures and abdicated their responsibility to the Youth ministry, even to the extent of waiving O-Level requirements,” another committee member said.

As reported by the Zimbabwe Independent in October, Chiri in her report exposed gross abuse of state resources by top government officials and the unlawful recruitment of the youths.

Kasukuwere then accused the audit report of having many inaccuracies and said he would make an official response once the ministry’s accounting officer was through with their own audit.

The parliamentary committee is compiling a full report on the recruitment of the youths with remedial recommendations and this report would be tabled in parliament before year-end.

Meanwhile, minister for Public Service Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro yesterday told the Independent that results of a pilot human resource audit in the civil service done in Harare, Midlands and Chitungwiza was expected to be out early next week.

Mukonoweshuro said: “In those areas there was nothing out of the ordinary. There’s nothing that they were able to evaluate that would raise eyebrows.”

He said delays in the compilation of the audit were because of the training of numerators that starts today and will continue into the weekend, while the main audit will start on Monday.

 

Wongai Zhangazha

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