Monday, 23 March 2020

CIVIL SERVANTS DEMAND TO WORK FROM HOME


THE Apex Council is lobbying Government to allow civil servants in none essential departments to work from home as part of a raft of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Government has declared Covid-19 a State of National Disaster, banning gatherings of more than 100 people and postponing national events including the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and Independence Day celebrations that were set for Bulawayo next month.

Schools, colleges and universities are also closing today to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Zimbabwe has recorded two coronavirus cases and one of the patients, Mr Zororo Makamba, died in Harare yesterday.

In the wake of Covid-19 which the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a pandemic and a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the Apex Council, the umbrella body for all civil servants said some Government employees must be allowed to work from home.

In an interview, Apex Council secretary general Mr David Dzatsunga said it was high time Government allowed non critical staff to work from home.

“I think at the moment, except for the most critical service, other people should just work from home. All other departments that are not essential except those in the medical field among others, should be enhanced to work from home. 

“This should be done until such a time that we realise a decline of Covid-19 cases globally,” said Mr Dzatsunga.

He said civil servants raised the issue with Government when the parties met recently although the matter had not been on the agenda.

Mr Dzatsunga said during the meeting, Government also briefed them on what it was doing to curb the spread of the virus.

He said more needs to be done to protect civil servants and people against the pandemic.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said the Apex Council’s suggestion for some civil servants to work from home was reasonable considering the scourge.

He said Cabinet is likely to deliberate on it in today’s meeting. 

“A lot of countries have gone on lockdown. This issue of corona is beyond just my ministry. The President has declared a national disaster and decisions have to be taken at a higher level.

“There has to be Cabinet consideration on some of those suggestions and Cabinet will be meeting tomorrow and I think this issue will be discussed among other things on how our country should respond to coronavirus. But definitely it’s a fair suggestion,” said Minister Mavima. Chronicle

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