Ncube, Priscillia Misihairabwi -Mushonga the International Trade Minister, National Healing Minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and eight other smaller MDC party members were arrested in Hwange on their way from Victoria Falls where they held a private meeting at their district chairperson’s house.
Nhlanhla Ndebele, the MDC spokesperson, who was also party of the group arrested, confirmed that there were released after five hours in detention at Hwange police station.
“We have been released now on our way to Bulawayo. We were held for five hours by the police officers at Hwange who said there were all along waiting for instructions from Harare.”
The MDC leaders were held under Pubic Order Security Act (POSA) for holding a meeting without police clearance
Ncube had earlier on Saturday pointed out at a press conference in Bulawayo that the civil servants payroll is full of Zanu (PF) militias.
He had said as the leader of a party in government he will make sure the Zanu (PF) militias are removed from the civil servants pay roll as soon as possible.
“We had an independent audit done recently, and that audit disclosed there are ghost workers on the government payroll. A large number of these people who are categorised as ghost workers are former militias who were recruited to do a political work by Zanu (PF) but are being paid by government. Most of them are in the villages doing nothing and some are called village coordinators,” Ncube said.
Ncube added that “there was an agreement between leaders of parties in government that these people’s employments contracts should be terminated. Actually a formula should be found to remove them from the government payroll as soon as possible.”
Recently Finance Minister, Tendai Biti said the government audit unearthed 75 000 workers whose status was questionable. Of the 75 000, 13 000 were of non-existent people while the rest received money from government but were not working anywhere.
Last week the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Union (Zimta), Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ) and Public Service Association who are regarded pro-Zanu (PF) unions under Apex Council announced salary increments to civil servants. Some teachers were said to be earning about US$ 300 per month, up from US$150.
However Biti dismissed the salary increments saying that the government is broke and urged Zanu (PF) to be transparent in the handling of diamond revenue and also that the issue of ghost workers should be dealt with first.