The Scoop Editorial: December 2, 2022
WE are happy that the President is now seeing what we have been saying for a very long time. Our view is that this civil service hubbub should have been sorted out a long time ago but it is better late than never.
Realistically speaking, there has been a complete and general degeneration in the civil service from the time the UPND took over power and this has to do with loyalty. Things are simply spiraling out of control.
A lot of wrong things have been allowed to happen thereby overshadowing the good intentions of Government because some people are still in the holiday hangover where they are flirting with loyalty to the rotting monster.
Those in the civil service with partisan brains have been given enough rope to hang themselves. They have been given enough time to meet Jesus on their way to Damascus and repent and act like standardised homosapiens and properly grounded civil servants but most of them have vehemently refused to do so. They are still on the partisan cocoon and are failing to see what is demanded of them.
Today, service delivery to the people of Zambia is failing mainly because of these politically-puffed ratheads who make the majority of the civil service and the only way to get rid of this problem is by cleaning the system.
There are civil servants who need no transfer because they will never change. When you transfer a person, you are simply transferring a problem and the best way is to get rid of them.
There are directors, Permanent Secretaries, and even Ministers who have caused more damage than good to the people of this country and these must be allowed to rest so that other people can takeover. We have technocrats who simply do not want to work and it is no use keeping them.
We cannot continue flirting with mediocrity in the name of not victimizing civil servants. If professionalism is being sacrificed at the altar of politics, why keeping them? If they don’t want to work, let them go so that they can fervently pursue their political ambitions.
Mr. President, the Ministry of Agriculture is in a mess. We have no problem with Mtolo Phiri as a person but we have a problem with his incompetence. You see sir, food security is very important to any country. We can have issues around the strength of the Kwacha or inflation but still find our way out but a hungry population is an angry population.
Hunger is an embarrassment and there is no pride in it because even your neighbor will never respect you when they hear you have no food. If there is a Minister who is ripe for being fired, it is Mtolo. The man is simply a square peg in a round hole and has no clue about what he needs to do.
It seems the position is too big for him and coupled with the so-called technocrats who have continued to mess up the agriculture sector, this has exacerbated the situation.
Our plea is that as you start reorganizing and cleaning the civil service, start with the Ministry of Agriculture in general and the Minister himself in particular because he has failed the farmers. He had all the time to do that which is right to ensure that inputs are delivered to farmers on time but he was busy snoring in his office.
He even had the luxury of wasting time flagging off input distribution in Lusaka at such a critical moment that farmers should have started receiving inputs. For two weeks, Mtolo was busy moving from one shed of the suppliers to the next, like an evangelist looking for lost souls to save, flagging off the input distribution exercise and today, we are where we are because of his incompetence and because he also presides over an incompetent team, the farmer is crying.
The intention of Government was okay but the channel through which this intention was to be actualised messed up things because the gatekeeper was sleeping on duty. Please, Mr. President, we cannot continue with Mtolo. He has failed us.