BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Government has started to change laws that govern civil servants, including clipping their political wings so that they may be apolitical as required by the Constitution.
Briefing journalists at a post-Cabinet meeting yesterday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said her Public service, Labour and Social Welfare counterpart, Sekai Nzenza had tabled a proposal to amend the current Public Services Act and align it with the Constitution.
“The amendment seeks to inter alia, align the condition of service for the civil service to the Constitution, provide staff of the Civil Service Commission and the establishment of the National Joint Negotiating Forum for negotiations before engaging in collective job action,” Mutsvangwa said.
“The amendments also provide mechanism for the implementation of collective bargaining rights and provide for political neutrality of the civil service.”
In the past, senior civil servants have been accused of dabbling in partisan politics with many of them accused of favouring the ruling Zanu PF party.
The proposed law will also deal with public administration and make it law for senior civil servants to declare their assets as well as establish a code of conduct for the same.
Cabinet also discussed the on-going rescue efforts underway in Chimanimani and Chipinge following the effects of Cyclone Idai and the State was now looking for more aircrafts to airlift relief service to collection points that are still inaccessible.
“It is noted with sadness that the figure of human fatalities has now risen to 268 and is still expected to rise as the search efforts continue,” Mutsvangwa stated.
According to Mutsvangwa, Cabinet was now preparing to extend its begging bowl for both local and international aid in respect of the cyclone disaster.
On the business side, Cabinet approved proposals to change the securities and exchange laws that were presented by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube. The changes, according to Mutsvangwa, seek to address the existing deficiencies and align the current law with market development and international best practices.
Key suggestions aim at providing a law that demands full disclosure of financial results, risks and other information which is material to investors.
“The proposed amendments aim to achieve the following: expanding the scope of regulation of capital markets to cover issues of securities, eliminating regulatory arbitrage in the capital markets and introducing civil penalties for contravention of the Act,” Mutsvangwa said.