Spoil­ers doomed

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS -

AS the Govern­ment realigns fi­nan­cial over­sight func­tions, pub­lic ser­vice work­ers must co­op­er­ate and en­sure pru­dent man­age­ment of pub­lic re­sources. The Govern­ment has amended the Pub­lic Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment Act and also up­graded the of­fice of Con­troller of Au­dit to Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary level to curb fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment. Spoil­ers are doomed! Pub­lic work­ers at all lev­els must ad­here to the pro­vi­sions of the re­vised Act as the Govern­ment moves to pro­tect pub­lic funds. It is ev­i­dent that the re­cently in­tro­duced mea­sures are yield­ing pos­i­tive re­sults as ev­i­denced from the dis­ci­plinary ac­tion meted out against ac­count­ing and other mem­bers of staff in Govern­ment, who were cited to have mis­han­dled pub­lic re­sources. Er­ring ac­count­ing em­ploy­ees at the Min­istry of Gen­eral Ed­u­ca­tion have re­ceived the boot in­clud­ing those from the Min­istry of Com­merce, Trade and In­dus­try. The whip was ex­tended to the Min­istry of Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment and So­cial Wel­fare. It ap­pears though that the fi­nan­cial im­pro­pri­ety was hap­pen­ing in many other min­istries, provinces and spend­ing agen­cies. Soon, the law will catch up with more of­fi­cers that went on a wan­ton loot­ing of pub­lic re­sources. No one should be spared in the cleans­ing of the pub­lic ser­vice. The civil ser­vice is the ‘en­gine room’ of Govern­ment op­er­a­tions and re­quires first-rate su­per­vi­sion and ef­fi­ciency. It is crim­i­nal and coun­ter­pro­duc­tive for any pub­lic of­fi­cer to en­gage in theft of pub­lic funds which should oth­er­wise be ex­pended on de­vel­op­ment of the na­tion. Con­trol­ling of­fi­cers who in­clude Per­ma­nent Sec­re­taries should scru­ti­nise all pay­ments while the of­fice of the Au­di­tor Gen­eral should up­scale op­er­a­tions. The Zam­bia Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Au­thor­ity (ZPPA) and many other Govern­ment agen­cies must seal all pos­si­ble loop­holes through which mal­prac­tices could be chan­nelled. Law en­force­ment agen­cies such as the Drug En­force­ment Com­mis­sion, Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion and the Zam­bia Po­lice Ser­vice should work ex­tra hard to de­tect, ar­rest and pros­e­cute pub­lic ser­vice work­ers in­volved in the theft of Govern­ment funds. It will be dif­fi­cult for the Govern­ment to re­alise the set macroe­co­nomic ob­jec­tives if the pub­lic ser­vice re­mains con­tam­i­nated. The fo­cus for pub­lic work­ers in­clud­ing those at pol­icy-mak­ing level is to en­sure that Zam­bia’s de­vel­op­ment agenda suc­ceeds. Zam­bia has a mam­moth task of en­sur­ing pru­dent im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 2019 Na­tional Bud­get and the ef­fi­cient ex­e­cu­tion of the Eco­nomic Growth Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme. The 2019-21 Mid-Term Ex­pen­di­ture Frame­work is an­other im­por­tant na­tional doc­u­ment, which re­quires re­li­gious at­ten­tion. There­fore, in im­ple­ment­ing many im­por­tant pro­grammes, Govern­ment re­quires to have a ded­i­cated cadre of pro­fes­sion­als in the civil ser­vice. Zam­bia can­not af­ford to have ‘spoil­ers’ in the sys­tem at the time there are prepa­ra­tions for en­gage­ments with mul­ti­lat­eral in­sti­tu­tions. The Govern­ment has lined up en­gage­ments with the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Funds (IMF) on the pos­si­ble sup­port pro­gramme. On that ac­count, all pub­lic work­ers must ad­here to the pro­vi­sions of the law and civil ser­vice reg­u­la­tions. There is no room for in­com­pe­tent and dis­hon­est em­ploy­ees. All work­ers must em­brace val­ues such as hon­esty, in­tegrity, hard work, team spirit and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. The work ethic must be up to the scratch. On a larger scale, the gen­eral pop­u­lace must not un­fairly cast nega­tive as­per­sions on the Govern­ment; blan­ket con­dem­na­tion is grossly un­fair. Zam­bians must ex­ude good­will and re­main pa­tri­otic as the coun­try con­tin­ues on the growth path. They should only en­gage in con­struc­tive crit­i­cism. Spoil­ers are there­fore doomed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zambia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.