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Chapter 16:04

Public Service Act

Act 21/1995, 16/2001, 17/2002 (s. 46).






  1. Short title.



  1. Term of office of commissioners.
  2. Resignation of commissioners.
  3. Conditions of service of commissioners.
  4. Commissioners not to engage in other occupation or business.
  5. Commissioners to cease to be members of Public Service.



  1. Functions of Commission.
  2. Procedure of Commission.
  3. Secretary and staff of Commission.
  4. Directions to Commission.
  5. Reports of Commission.
  6. Validity of decisions and acts of Commission.



  1. Constitution of Public Service.
  2. Responsibility for administration of Public Service and divisions thereof.
  3. Classification of members of Public Service.

16A. Removal of heads of Ministry from Public Service

  1. Members of Public Service to be appointed and removed only in accordance with Act.
  2. Appointments and promotions.
  3. Conditions of service of members of Public Service.
  4. Consultations re conditions of service of members of Public Service.
  5. Persons under contract.
  6. Right of members of Public Service and other persons to remuneration and pension benefits.
  7. Member of Public Service seeking election to local authority.
  8. Recognized associations and organizations.



  1. Investigation and adjudication of misconduct cases.
  2. Appeals to Labour Court.



  1. Delegation of functions.
  2. Pension benefits to be paid from Consolidated Revenue Fund.
  3. Remuneration and pension benefits not to be ceded, pledged or attached.
  4. Insolvency of pensioner.
  5. Service regulations
  6. Regulatory powers of Minister.

32A. Engagement by privatised organisations of certain employees of the State

32B. Restriction on right of privatised organisations to engage certain former employees of the State 33.Savings.

AN ACT to make further provision for the Public Service Commission and its functions; to provide for the constitution and administration of the Public Service and the conditions of service of its members; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 15th March, 1996.]

WHEREAS sections 73, 74 and 75 of the Constitution provide as follows:

73. (1) There shall be a Public Service for the administration of the country.

(2) An Act of Parliament shall make provision for the organization, administration and discipline of the Public Service, including the appointment of persons to posts or grades in the Public Service, their removal from office or reduction in grade, their punishment for misconduct and the fixing of their conditions of service.

  1. (1) There shall be a Public Service Commission which shall consist of a chairman and not less than two and not more than seven other members appointed, subject to the provisions of subsection (2), by the President.

(2) The persons to be appointed under subsection (1) shall be chosen for their ability and experience in administration or their professional qualifications or their suitability otherwise for appointment, and the chairman and at least one other member shall be persons who have held a post or posts of a senior grade in the Public Service for periods which in the aggregate amount to at least five years.

  1. 75. The functions of the Public Service Commission shall be to tender such advice and do such other things in relation to the Public Service as are provided for by this Constitution or by or under an Act of Parliament.”;

AND WHEREAS section 109 of the Constitution, in so far as it applies to the Public Service Commission, provides as follows:

“109. (1) Save as is provided in this Constitution or an Act of Parliament, a Commission shall not, in the exercise of its functions, be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.

(2) An Act of Parliament may make provision for the powers and functions of a Commission and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may make provision for the disqualifications, tenure of office and remuneration of the members thereof, and may authorize the delegation of any power or function, other than the power to make appointments to, or to make recommendations or tender advice in respect of, any office established by this Constitution.

  • Any decision of a Commission shall require the concurrence of a majority of all the members thereof.
  • The salary payable to a member of a Commission shall not be reduced during his tenure of office.
  • No law shall—
  • increase or permit an increase in—
    • the fixed salary or salary scale applicable to any post, grade or rank in the Public Service.;
    • the bonuses or allowances payable to, or privileges or benefits that may be granted to, members of [the Public Service];
    • the rate of pensions, gratuities or other benefits payable to or in respect of such members; (iv) the rate of leave that may be granted to or accrued by such members; or

(v)   the number or level of posts; or

  • provide for a general decrease or permit a general decrease in the hours of work to be performed by such members; unless the Minister for the time being responsible for finance, having regard to the financial implications, whether direct or indirect, has agreed thereto.

(7) No law shall provide for or permit a reduction in the fixed salary or salary scale applicable to any member of the Public Service except when such member has been found guilty of misconduct or has consented to such reduction.

  • If there is any alteration in the posts or grades into which the Public Service is divided, the Commission may, by order in the Gazette, specify some other rank, post or grade as being equivalent to that referred to in section 105(3), and the reference shall thereafter be construed as including a reference to the post or grade for the time being so specified.
  • A person shall not be eligible for appointment as a member of a Commission if he is a member of Parliament or any local authority.
  • In this section—

“Commission” means the Public Service Commission...”

AND WHEREAS it is desirable to make further provision for the Public Service and the Public Service Commission:

NOW, THEREFORE, be it enacted by the President and the Parliament of Zimbabwe as follows:— PART I


1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Public Service Act [Chapter 16:04].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“appropriate Minister”, in relation to—

  • a Ministry, department or other division of the Public Service, means the Minister responsible for that Ministry, department or division;
  • a member or former member of the Public Service or a person who is about to become a member of the Public Service, means the Minister responsible for the Ministry, department or other division of the Public Service in which the person is or was or is to be employed, as the case may be;

“approved service” means—

  • the service of a government, statutory body, local authority or institution approved by the Minister, after consultation with the Commission, for the purposes of this Act; or
  • a uniformed force, or
  • the service of Parliament;

“Commission” means the Public Service Commission constituted in terms of section 74 of the Constitution;

“commissioner” means a member of the Commission, including the chairman;

“head of Ministry”, in relation to a member of the Public Service, means the Secretary of the Ministry in which he is employed or the occupier of any other office or post which the Commission, with the concurrence of the appropriate Minister, directs shall constitute his head of Ministry;

“Labour Court” means the Labour Court constituted in terms of the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01];

[Definition substituted by section 46 of Act 17 of 2002]

“local authority” means a municipality, town, local board or rural district council or any similar body established by or in terms of any enactment;

“member”, in relation to—

  • the Public Service, means a person employed in the Public Service, including a head of Ministry and a person employed under contract in terms of section twenty-one;
  • a statutory body, means a person who is appointed to a council, board or other authority which is the statutory body or which is responsible for the administration of the affairs of the statutory body;”.

[Definition substituted by section 2 of Act 16 of 2001]

“Minister” means the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“pension benefit” means any pension, commutation of a pension, gratuity or other similar allowance or benefit or any refund of pension contributions, including any interest payable thereon, for a person in respect of his service as a commissioner or member of the Public Service or in respect of any ill-health or injury arising out of and in the course of his official duties as a commissioner or member of the Public Service or for a dependant or personal representative of such person in respect of such service, ill-health or injury or on the death of such person;

“Public Service” means the Public Service referred to in subsection (1) of section 73 of the Constitution;

“recognized association or organisation” means an association or organisation declared to be a recognized association or recognized organisation, as the case may be, in terms of subsection (1) of section twentyfour;

“service commissioner” means a commissioner who, immediately before the date of his appointment to the Commission, was a member of the Public Service;

“service regulations” means regulations made in terms of section thirty-one regulating conditions of service of members of the Public Service;

“uniformed force” means the Police Force, any branch of the Defence Forces or the Prison Service.



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