Monday, December 03, 2012

Kick out those who are not performing

Kick out those who are not performing
By The Post
Mon 03 Dec. 2012, 09:50 CAT

Those who have public jobs or appointments need to realise that they are there to serve the people. And a public job or appointment is not one of ease or resting, but one of incessant striving so that those in power may fulfil the pledges they have so often taken. The service of Zambia means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye.

That may be beyond our government, but as long as there are tears and suffering, the need for hard work will not be over. And so those in public service, in government jobs or appointments have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to the dreams of our people. We have to strive after greater things. But to do this we need public servants who actually work.

We today have non-performing public servants at every level of government. We have ministers who are not performing but are getting benefits, a salary from the taxpayer. We have civil servants who are just servants in name because they don't do any work of value for the master, for the people. And Vice-President Guy Scott's warning is timely. Non-performing ministers and other controlling officers who think they are "safe like fish in a pond or a bird in its nest" have no reason to continue getting a salary from the taxpayer.

And we have too many people in the public service who are not working but are getting all the benefits. Most of these people are in these positions as a result of political appointments. Most of them have been directly appointed by the President. Nobody can dismiss them apart from the President. It is time the President took responsibility for the people he has appointed to get a salary from the taxpayer for doing nothing.

The taxpayer deserves a fair deal. The President has a duty to ensure that the taxpayer gets a fair return on his tax by ensuring that the people he has appointed to the public service work and work in a manner that maximises the benefits to those who pay taxes.
It is the President's duty to ensure that every one of his appointees delivers. Those who fail deserve to be kicked out. There is no reason why the President should be working very hard, risking his health while the people he has appointed don't work.

If the President is willing to do their jobs while they get paid for doing nothing, then it will be better to kick them out and accordingly increase his salary. The cost of keeping people who don't work in employment is too high to ignore. It is people who don't actually work that are more prone to corruption, to abusing their offices. They have the time for everything other than the work they have been contracted to do.

This type of life is as little worth of a nation as of an individual. In this life, we get nothing save by effort. It is said that not working hard in the present merely means that there has been stored up effort in the past. A person can be freed from the necessity of work only by the fact that the people before him or her have worked to good purpose.

If the freedom thus purchased is used aright, and the person still does actual work, though of a different kind, he or she deserves the good fortune. But if that person treats this period of freedom from the need of actual labour as a period not of preparation but of mere enjoyment, that person is simply a cumberer on the earth's surface; and he or she surely unfits himself or herself to hold his or her own with his or her fellows if the need to do so should again arise.

It is also said that a mere life of ease is not in the end a satisfactory life, and above all, it is a life which ultimately unfits those who follow it for serious work in the world.

As it is with the individual, so it is with the nation. There should be no room in our public service, and indeed in our whole country, for people who don't want to work, who don't want the only national life which is really worth leading - that of work, and of working hard.

There should be no room for such people, people who believe in that cloistered life which saps the hardy virtues in a nation, as it saps them in the individual; or else they are wedded to that base spirit of gain and greed that thrives on unearned income, on a good life with very little work. No country can long endure if its foundations are not laid deep in hard work, from hard, unsparing effort.

Given the poverty levels in our country, we cannot afford public servants who don't work. The poverty situation in which the great majority of our people find themselves calls not for the life of ease, but for the life of strenuous endeavour. If we stand idly by, if we shrink from hard work, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by and will win for themselves the best things in this world.

Let us therefore boldly face the life of hard work, resolute to do our public duty well and manfully; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals for it is only through hard work that we shall ultimately lift the great majority of our people from poverty.

There is need for increased supervision from the President himself of the people he has given public jobs. Those who can't perform must go. There is generally some good work being done by the government, and it should continue to do so, but it won't be easy.

As we have stated very clearly before, nobody should think that things are going to be easy. We must be prepared to work very hard because there will be many challenges, difficulties and problems. We have difficulties now, and we will have even greater ones in the future, even if we work very hard - and we should work very hard, even if it calls for our greatest efforts.


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