Zambia vows to tackle ‘ghost workers’

20 Feb 19

Zambia’s Finance Ministry will clean up its payroll system in order to remove ‘ghost workers’ and reduce the public service wage bill.

Finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said the government would “only need to pay deserving workers”, according to local media reports on Tuesday.

The minister urged the controller of internal audits to work with the accountant general and other relevant government institutions to clean up the payroll. This could free up public money to pay for services.  

As many as 7,000 civil servants in the country could be removed from the payroll, if line ministries do not confirm that they are actual employees, it was reported in November.

Ghost workers can be employees who have died, been transferred or retired, but remain on the payroll.

The announcement comes as the government is working to enhance financial accountability and strengthen its public finances.

Mwanakatwe expressed confidence that public financial management will “significantly improve” this year and lead to stronger resource allocation and improved service delivery.

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