PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday pleaded with the restive civil servants to be more patriotic and drive government’s devolution and decentralisation programmes to ensure uninterrupted service delivery.
The Zanu PF leader made the call during the burial of former Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson Mariyo Mariyawanda Nzuwah who died last week.
He also told mourners that government was committed to improving its workers’ conditions of service, capacities, and skills in tandem with the demands of the new normal driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I commend all public servants for their resilience, hard work and perseverance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government and its workers have had frosty relations since the switch over from United States dollar-based salaries to the Zimbabwe dollar era, with the latter claiming erosion of their earnings.
“Our public service officials should change their mindset and be up to the task of delivering on their mandates, including delivery of services at every level in both rural and urban areas. They must be an embodiment of unity, and drivers of our devolution and decentralisation agenda,” Mnangagwa said.
“In this way, they will bring dignity to every citizen through ensuring uninterrupted delivery of basic services such as clean water, good roads, timeous availability of inputs, and access to renewable energy, and well-resourced schools, among other aspects.”
He said civil servants should identify with the communities in which they are deployed, and respect their cultures and languages.
“In light of this, it remains incumbent upon the entire civil service to continue upholding the unwavering, patriotic, humble, hardworking character, high degree of professionalism and sense of duty-consciousness, exhibited by the late national hero, Nzuwah,” Mnangagwa said.
He also urged present-day intellectuals, the youth and women to play their part in pursuing various studies locally and abroad in order to enrich themselves in cultural and ideological consciousness.
“As the African intelligentsia, you have the responsibility to engender and propel the political and economic development of our country and the continent as a whole.”
The President said Nzuwah would be remembered for developing a sound civil service in Zimbabwe.
Nzuwah was appointed the first black chairperson of the PSC, then Civil Service Commission, in 1992 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2018. He is survived by wife Janice Nzuwah (nee Stevenson), four children and eight grandchildren.