The government says it has eradicated ghost workers in the civil service after successfully carrying out a biometric audit introduced a few years ago.
In an interview with State media on the sidelines of a Public Service Commission (PSC) retreat in Victoria Falls, the commission secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe said there are very few civil servants whose biometric attributes had not been captured. He said:
We have had a very encouraging outcome because we found out that indeed there were a number of people in the civil service whose biometric attributes were not, for one reason or another, found in the Registrar General’s office.
What we discovered after going through that exercise was that it was a minuscule number of civil servants who still remained with attributes still to be recorded at the Registrar General’s office and we have some clues as to what the reasons might be.
We finally ended up with statistically close to zero ghost workers and we can say that we have dealt with the risk in a very successful manner. The good news is that the biometric registration exercise was a success.
Wutawunashe said some of the people had challenges being captured because they were holders of the old type of identity cards.
These were given an opportunity to present themselves so that they could not be punished for reasons which were not of their own making.
Some are people who work full time in the field and there is progress in identifying them and making sure that they regularise, said Wutawunashe.
The biometric system was introduced to accurately identify workers and pensioners for purposes of removing ghost workers from the payroll.
The system has been used in other countries such as the new z83 form in South Africa and yielded positive results including reducing public sector wage bill.