HomePoliticsGovt introduces skills retention fund

Govt introduces skills retention fund

Lucia Makamure

THE government has introduced a technical allowance under the skills retention fund targeting professional grades to staunch the brain drain in the c

ivil service.

In a report made available to the Zimbabwe Independent, beneficiaries of the fund started receiving payments last month, backdated to July 1.

“Payments have been made to staff in the following ministries and has been backdated to 1 July 2007: Economic Development, Finance, Health and Child Welfare, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Mines and Mining Development, Transport and Communication, Surveyor General’s Department and Rural Housing and Social Amenities,” says the report.

Science and mathematics teachers are identified in the report as the only beneficiaries of the fund from the Ministry of Education and they are yet to receive their payments.

“In the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, the required data on all the science and mathematics teachers has not yet been provided to date. This ministry’s staff will be paid backdated to 1 July as and when all the required information has been provided and vetted, in order to make sure that the right staff are paid,” the report said.

Other ministries and government departments that are set to benefit include the Agricultural Engineering division, Irrigation and Mechanisation, Agriculture, Comptroller and Auditor-General, Defence, Higher and Tertiary Education, Energy and Power Development, Industry and International Trade, Home Affairs, Office of the President and Cabinet, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development, Science and Technology, Environment and Tourism, Public Service, Water Resources and Infrastructural Development, Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Youth Development and Employment Creation, Foreign Affairs and Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement.

Civil engineers, electricians, builders, accountants, architects and other professionals in the public sector have in the past years joined the race to join more paying jobs in neighbouring countries.

Many South African companies have been advertising for manpower in Zimbabwe and more professionals are expected to leave the country to take up more lucrative job offers south of the Limpopo.

Recent reports indicate that there have been shortages of science teachers in South Africa and the government in that country has indicated that it is targeting Zimbabwe to recruit teachers.

Peter Mabhande, chief executive officer of Zimbabwe Teachers Association, who also sits on the Apex Council which represents all civil servants, said they were yet to receive details on the technical allowance from the government.

“We have not been advised on who will benefit from the fund,” Mabhande said.

He also said they were not aware on how the fund was to be implanted as it is still being analysed by the government.

Last week Finance minister Samuel Mumbengegwi allocated $650 billion to the skills retention fund when he presented his supplementary budget in parliament.

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