"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Civil servants should learn to earn their pay

BY The Daily Times

14:13:13 - 24 June 2008

Once upon a time civil servants moved about the
streets with their shoulders stooping so low. They were one of the
least paid workers in this country. However, this is not the case any
more. Some civil servants can proudly say they are one of the best paid
people in the land. The trappings that go along with the positions they
hold in the public service are far much better than those of their
counterparts in the private sector.

However, the high remuneration of some civil servants is beset by lack of discipline and sheer laziness by some of them.

While employees in the private sector sweat to earn their pay and
promotion on the job, their counterparts in the civil service make
their pay by fulfilling virtually none of the abovementioned. Some
civil servants can afford to globetrot, and attend one workshop after
another, while their genuine work piles up at their offices.

Some civil servants arrive at work way beyond 7:30 am and knock off at
any time they wish without fear of any reprisals. And some cheeky ones
are now more of business people than civil servants as they can afford
to go to South Africa, Tanzania, Dubai or any other country to get
various things which they sell back home. All this is done during
working time and are paid for doing personal businesses using taxpayers

These civil servants, who are notorious for lazing off and treating
work as a pastime activity, argue that it is a culture not to work hard
in the civil service. Such wasteful civil servants hide behind their
efficient and effective colleagues whose hard work goes unnoticed by
the masters who award promotions.

And yet there is nobody and no system at all to track and discipline
these wayward civil servants. It beats us that sometimes such people
earn a promotion.

Surely, this culture of laziness and lack of dedication to work in the
civil service can not be allowed to go on. It is one of the factors why
our country has not progressed the way it should have been despite
years of independence. The civil service is a pivotal catalyst for
development as it provides various services for the private sector.

We are, therefore, pleased to learn from President Bingu wa Mutharika,
who heads the civil service, that government is not watching this evil

We applaud the move to introduce a comprehensive Public Service
Performance Management System that will measure the performance of
individual public servants and that of ministries or departments. We
hope this time the President means business because we do not think
last time he asked ministers to give him monthly reports he was serious
as that was never sustained.

Indeed, it is high time the civil service was very efficient in service
delivery, so that the country develops fast, to catch with the growing
population and the dynamic globalised world.

It is our wish that implementation of the various civil service reforms
should be done speedily. This country, more than ever before, needs a
vibrant civil service, and coupled with a lively private sector, it can
progress quickly towards its dream of becoming a middle class economy.

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