Elita Chikwati Senior ReporterGOVERNMENT’S focus is on availing non-monetary benefits to its workers to enhance their livelihoods, a Cabinet Minister has said. This was said by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza yesterday during the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Agreement to roll out $60 million housing facility for civil servants.
The agreement was signed between secretary to the Service Commission Ambassador Jonathan Wutaunashe and National Building Society managing director, Mr Lameck Danga.
Officiating at the ceremony, Minister Nzenza said the signing ceremony conformed to the international remuneration trends where attraction and retention of the best brains was no longer hinged on salaries only.
“In accordance with His Excellency the President’s vision, Government has hit the ground running in improving the conditions of service for its workers by shifting away from the traditional focus on salaries only.
“In this regard, efforts are being channelled towards the all-round improvement of standards of living with particular focus on decent housing, quality health, productive education and a sustainable transport system among many other demands.
“Today’s signing ceremony is a demonstration of Government’s commitment to meeting these needs of public servants and of a desire to uphold human dignity by aiming for global standards in the crafting of conditions of service,” she said.
Minister Nzenza said housing was an investment which not only addressed immediate needs for shelter, but had the potential for the future creation of wealth.
She said the $60 million housing facility was a demonstration of Government’s new commitment to public partnership that harness the competences and comparative advantage of private sector players in delivering public sector policy objectives.
“Government will increasingly affirm private sector competencies in delivering services that support its effort to improve the standards of living for public servants.
“Government has opened itself to willing partners to invest towards this noble cause in a win-win arrangement that guarantees a return on investment,” she said.
Minister Nzenza said there were hopes that Government and its employees would continue engaging on the crafting of sustainable remuneration and benefit packages in the context of the broader national interest.
Public Service Commission chairman, Dr Vincent Hungwe said the signing ceremony indicated a significant turning point in policy direction with respect to the management of human resources particularly in the public sector.
“Civil servants generally underpin the capacity of Government to effectively manage its work in pursuit of national development.
“President Mnangagwa has been clear with respect to public sector to create a civil service with the capacity to transform the country to move progressively towards the coming middle class income and middle class economy by 2030,” he said.
Apex Council president, Mrs Cecilia Alexander thanked Government for the housing facility. Mr Danga said a number of civil servants had submitted their applications with the bank.
“We have different bouquets of houses in Harare, Masvingo, Mutare, Gweru and the projects are ongoing. Our target is to reach civil servants and they have different loan requirements,” he said.
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