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New Zimbabwe

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged agitated civil servants to improve the service they offer to the public through and the work of the late national hero, Mariyawanda Nzuwah.

Addressing mourners at the burial of the long-serving Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson, Mnangagwa urged the public service officials to “change their mindsets”.   

Nzuwah, the first black PSC, died last Tuesday in Harare at the age of 80.

“Our public service officials should change their mindsets and be up to the task of delivering on their mandate including delivery of service at every level in both rural and urban areas,” Mnangagwa said.

He also promised to improve the conditions of service for the public officials.

“My government remains committed to improving conditions of public service, capacities, skills of our workers in tandem with demands of the new normal.”

There is a long-running stand-off between civil servants and their employer as the government workers complain of poor working conditions and low salaries.

However, Mnangagwa said:

“They should continue upholding the unwavering,  patriotic, humble hard-working character, high degree of professionalism and sense of duty consciousness exhibited by the late national hero Mariyawanda Nzuwah.

“There must be an embodiment of unity and drivers of the nation’s devolution and decentralisation agenda.

“In this way, there will be equity to every citizen through an uninterrupted delivery of basic services such as clean water, good roads, and timeous availability of farm inputs.”

Mnangagwa described Nzuwah as a dedicated eminent academic, and an accomplished top civil servant whose work should be emulated.

“We honour him as a man not only for his passion for developing the civil service but his great zeal for developing a sound public service for Zimbabwe and his well-crafted and thought out professionalism and widely researched advice on matters of public administration.

“He laid the foundation for the modernisation of the public service including results agile skilled and adaptable professionals who are highly regarded in SADC and beyond.

“Farewell to you the son of the soil. You fought a good fight. Go well our patriot.”

Nzuwah served as permanent secretary in several ministries after independence before his appointment as the PSC chairperson in 1992. He retired in 2018.

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