MDC candidates denied re-admission into civil service

HARARE - Civil servants who participated in the July 31 harmonised elections on an MDC ticket have complained that they are being denied readmission into the civil service.

The development comes despite the Civil Service Commission (CSC) advising government workers on August 26, 2013 that they would remain in government employ. The Public Service Act, Chapter 26:04, section 23, ensures  that civil servants are free to participate in politics.

Several teachers who spoke to the Daily News said they were being barred from going back to work by district education and civil service officers.

“We have been approaching our respective district offices so that we can be redeployed to our stations but the officials always come up with excuses,” said one teacher in Chikomba District.

“I was on the party list for the provincial council on an MDC (Welshman Ncube) ticket but they told me I was considered resigned, yet I know that those who participated as Zanu PF candidates in other districts have already been deployed.”

Mariyawanda Nzuwah, the CSC chairman and CSC secretary Petty Sunguro, were unreachable for comment.

But in a September 8 notice to all principal, provincial education and human resources directors, Constance Chigwamba, the secretary for Education, said the status of the civil servants who contested the poll must remain unchanged.

“Be advised that according to the CSC minute referenced A|49 and dated August 26, 2013, in the interim, all members of the civil service who participated in the 2013 harmonised elections in local authorities remain members of the civil service,” reads the letter. “The provisions of the Public Service Act Chapter 26:04, section 23 shall remain in force.”

So serious is the opposition to the reinstatement that Maltin Mukusha, a former teacher at Chikangwe High School in Karoi, was assaulted by the CSC instructor for Hurungwe District Phillip Madhuveko when he approached his office seeking reinstatement after he was relieved of his duties following his nomination as an  MDC candidate for the provincial council.

Madhuveko was last week slapped with a three-month jail term or alternatively a $100 fine for the offence by Chinhoyi magistrate Singandu Jele.

Unions have said they have received several reports of members who have been denied readmission  across the country’s 10 provinces, with Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Matabeleland South provinces being the most affected.

Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ) expressed concern at the selective and preferential application of the laws in the country on the basis of political affiliation.

“It is surprising that we have not heard of teachers who participated on the ruling party’s ticket being denied readmission,” said PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe. “It is even worse when government assaults professionals for seeking to come back to their work places to serve the country.”

There are several cases of teachers who participated in the elections on a Zanu PF ticket who have since been reappointed to their posts, including deputy provincial education officer for Matabeleland South, Reuben Mabhena.

Prior to the elections last year, the CSC, then the Public Service Commission, gave civil servants the thumbs up to contest in the July elections and set aside a provision for those who lost to re-apply for their jobs.

Initially, the workers feared they would lose their jobs if they contested, as they would be considered retired or resigned from service but government announced the waiver, which it is now reneging on.

Comments (1)

Its not fair. I know a ZANU PF councillor who lost but is still working.

GUNZ - 24 April 2014

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