80 civil servants test positive for COVID-19 at ED’s office

THE Public Service Commission (PSC) has slashed its duty staff by 85 percent after a number of government employees tested positive for COVID-19, including employees stationed at Munhumutapa Building which houses the Office of the President and Cabinet, Zim Morning Post has learnt.

The PSC announced that they had reduced duty staff by 85 percent in circular number 11 for the attention of all permanent secretaries.

While not making mention of the number of civil servants who had tested positive for the infectious illness, PSC Secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe directed that only 15 percent must be at their work stations while those who remain at home should be on standby.

“In view of the continued increase in the number of COVID-19 cases within the civil service, the Commission has been left without a choice but to further reduce the number of essential staff,” he said.

“Reduce the number of essential service staff to 15% of the current members coming to work,” Wutawunashe added.

The circular also directed the remaining employees to reduce their use of public transport.

“Reduce the number of people who use public transport since local community transmission is on the increase,” Wutawunashe told government secretaries.

PSC sent out the circular announcing to all heads of ministries that they needed to further reduce quite drastically the number those coming to work, and to ensure that those who are at home are working.

Government, however, has been skeptical to release the exact number of its employees who are testing positive for COVID-19.

Sources who spoke to Zim Morning Post said the circular was written after more than 80 civil servants at Munhumutapa tested positive for COVID-19 a week ago.

Munhumutapa Building houses three government departments, including the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Efforts to get a comment from the Information secretary, Nick Mangwana, were fruitless as he did not reply the questions sent to him.

Zimbabwe is currently in a crisis as more people continue to test positive to the virus.

There are currently 4,990 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 whilst 128 deaths have been recorded.