Get rid of the corrupt and the dead wood
Thursday, 09 August 2007 17:02
THE timing of the recent reshuffle of some key Permanent Secretaries raises a lot of pertinent questions.
While it is Government’s prerogative to appoint officials it deems fit to fill certain key positions, senior officials performing poorly should be axed and not be shifted to other ministries to cause more damage there also.
And as Prime Minister Nahas Angula put it: “some ministries’ administration was in a poor state” and there was an urgent need to make changes amongst accounting officers.
It is known that several Permanent Secretaries, because of the power they wield, have established comfort zones to an extent that they even undermined Ministers overseeing them but to the detriment of public service delivery.
But, should non-performing or corrupt Permanent Secretaries be let off of the hook simply by being moved to other Ministries, enjoying the same salaries and perks? Some PSs are known to be stumbling blocks to the country’s development, but they still keep their positions at the expense of the country’s prosperity.
Should they not be made to account for their failures and corrupt practices before Government takes a decision to move them laterally or to dismiss them outright?
In the latest reshuffle of the accounting officers, two ministries - Trade and Industry and that of Health and Social Services - stand out.
Andrew Ndishishi, who has now been shifted from Trade and Industry to Agriculture, is indeed passing deep sighs of relief.
The “missing” N$100 million in public funds from the Offshore Development Company (ODC), which fell under him, is still unaccounted for.
But, does his shift from that Ministry mean that the burden of accounting for that money has now been lifted off his shoulders? What about his role as PS of the National Planning Commission (NPC)?
It is no secret that several heads of diplomatic missions had running battles with him, with other major donors threatening to withdraw their financial assistance to Namibia because of his shady dealings.
Former Health PS Dr Kalumbi Shangula, who is now “resting” at Environment and Tourism, also has lots of questions to answer for.
And as Prime Minister Nahas Angula put it, there were “serious management problems” at the Health Ministry which needed to be addressed.
But, did these problems crop up over night? No. Government has for many years been aware of the deteriorating health facilities and services in the country, and yet Shangula was allowed to earn the title of the “longest-serving PS at one Ministry”.
Who was the culprit in the “communication breakdown within the Ministry” that the PM talked about last week?
Government had in previous years made us believe that the positions of Permanent Secretaries would be advertised to enable suitable candidates, and not political appointees, to be placed in these key positions.
We will still wait for this to happen.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2007 17:03