The promotion should have been backdated to his initial appointment date in the Civil Service.The situation dragged on for an unreasonably long period of up to four years.
Mbabane-A Civil Servant now stationed at the Ministry of Health is demanding that the government compensate him up to E 300 000 after he was coerced into assuming an employment position that was not commensurate with the position to which he responded in an advert.
On the 12th September 2016, the Civil Service Commission advertised the post of a Human Resources Officer in a mainstream newspaper. Andile Lizwe Mciza, responded to the advert having noted that he qualified for it. Mciza was indeed called up for the relevant oral and written interviews and was accordingly selected as the successful candidate.
However, when he was supposed to assume the position of Human Resources Officer, he was surprised to learn that he was now being offered the subordinate position of Assistant Human Resources Officer instead. Mciza then sought an explanation from the Ministry of Public Service for the anomaly. He was informed by management staff members that the error would be attended to, but the process was going to take some time to correct. They advised that he should accept the issued offer, pending the processes to be undertaken. Mciza accepted the explanation because it seemed reasonable at the time. Hence, he was appointed as Assistant Human Resources Officer on 30 August 2017.
Despite several visits and written requests to the relevant authorities for him to be allocated to the proper position of employment, the situation dragged on for an unreasonably long period of up to four years.
While still dealing with the matter of being misallocated to a subordinate employment position. Mciza had to deal with another challenge caused by his Acting Supervisor. In the 10th of October 2019 he was verbally informed that he was being deployed to work in the Manzini and Lubombo regions as a Housing Officer. The re-deployment was later reduced to writing.
Mciza immediately wrote a letter to the Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Public Service appealing against the deployment. He stated that “I received the letters informing me of the immediate changes but have raised concerns that there are issues pending that have been overlooked. The sudden changes have been made without formal consultation. Now it appears that I hold two totally different titles at the same time without any legal instrument to substantiate the abrupt changes. I regret to inform you that I am not in a right position to accept the changes until I get sound clarification on the issues that I have raised.”
Meanwhile, a Circular Memorandum had already been issued by the Executive Secretary of the Civil Service Commission, Mr AG Ngwenya to all the government Heads of Department. Ngwenya wrote “the Civil Service Commission continues to receive complaints and court cases where Ministries and Departments continue to transfer, deploy and/or effect internal postings without the officers being consulted as provided in the Civil Service Board (General) Regulations. Ministries and Departments are advised that this should be done after consultations with the affected officer(s) but approval would be sanctioned by the Commission as provided under Section 187 of the Constitution of Swaziland. In light of the above, Ministries and Departments are requested to submit such requests to the Commission for approval and issuing of the relevant instrument.”
Ngwenya went on to articulate that Ministries and Departments are requested to comply with this directive in order to avoid litigation and decisions making delays.
Eventually, a vacant post for a Human Resources Officer was identified and Mciza he was promoted thereto on the 1st of August 2020, which was tenable at the Ministry of Education and Training. Mciza is now seeking indemnification for the losses arising from the appointment in a subordinate position. To this end he has sought the assistance of the National Public Services and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU).
NAPSAWU has written letters on behalf of Mciza to the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service as recently as the 13th of April 2022. In his correspondence Mbabane Secretary of NAPSAWU, Majahonkhe Vilakati mentions that “the promotion should have been backdated to his initial appointment date in the Civil Service to cater for the unfair labour practice that resulted during therein. That never materialised. When taking into account all the surrounding facts of this matter, it is evident that the officer was unfairly treated. He left his employment in the private sector with greater prospects considering his qualifications, for a post in the public service that was later variated to a lesser one without prior warning to him. The commitments made to him have not been honoured. In light of the foregoing, we request your office to compensate him for the loss accrued to him through being appointed into the subordinate position of Assistant Human Resources Officer.”
Mciza is yet to receive the necessary redress with his matter.