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Zimbabwe should remove ghost workers from payroll

Staff writer |
Zimbabwe's government should weed out "ghost workers" absent from their public sector posts, and free up money to build infrastructure, the International Monetary Fund director for Africa Antionette Sayeh said.

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Ms. Sayeh said it was unsustainable for the government to spend up to 80 percent of the budget to pay its 250,000 employees.

"Nobody can disagree with getting rid of people whose names are on the payroll and they are not working. That's one easy thing that the government should quickly do," Sayeh told Reuters in an interview.

Ms. Sayeh said restructuring the civil service, usually a euphemism for job or salary cuts, would be a medium-term programme that the government should undertake with assistance from the World Bank and African Development Bank.

Ms. Sayeh said talks with other multilateral donors to provide debt relief to Zimbabwe, which owes external creditors $8.8 billion, were positive but that Harare would not receive fresh funding until it cleared its arrears to the Fund.

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