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Deliver or be damned

THE call by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane for all civil servants to put their nose on the plough or ship out could not have come at a better time.
Thabane issued the ominous warning at a three-day workshop for government ministers and principal secretaries that ended in Teyateyaneng on Friday.
The workshop sought to introduce and familiarise government ministers and principal secretaries to the workings and operations of the government.
“Civil servants who are not willing to execute instructions of the coalition government for effective service delivery should hit the highroad,” Thabane said.
“People should work hard or hit the highroad if they can’t take it. It’s not negotiable.”
Well said, premier.
As we have highlighted in the past there is a shocking culture of laziness within the civil service.
For decades no one appeared keen to arrest the rot and make people work.
The result is that there is a perception among Basotho that things don’t work in government, which to a large extent is a fact.
But this must now change.
The new coalition government must root out this culture of indolence that had been allowed to fester like a malignant wound for decades.
But reversing this culture of laziness will not be easy.
It had become so deeply ingrained that it had become almost second nature to some civil servants.
However, the government must put its foot down in enforcing discipline.
This might require a fresh ideological reorientation for the civil servants.
We believe civil servants need a new mind-set and an appreciation that they are not masters but are servants of the people.
It also demands greater supervision by departmental heads.
If these departmental heads cannot enforce discipline they too must be shoved out.
Heads must surely roll for those that slacken on the plough in enforcing a new culture of hard work within government.
Perhaps the government should take a leaf from the private sector in terms of the work-culture.
Isn’t it time that government imports the same relentless doggedness in pursuit of profit that we see in the private sector?
Coupled with regular performance appraisals within the civil service with those failing to make the grade being asked to move elsewhere, things should certainly improve for the better.
The government must clean up the civil service and ensure only those determined to work retain their jobs.
The civil service should have no place for the lazy ones.
Regrettably for years Basotho have been conditioned to accept mediocre service from civil servants.
We have come to accept that we cannot get any services in government offices after 3pm.
All offices are deserted by then.
But Basotho have a right to demand better.
With better and closer supervision we are convinced that we can begin to enjoy better services in government departments.
The parties that make up the coalition government were elected into office on the back of strong promises to deliver better services to Basotho.
Their reputation is therefore on the line.
This government must deliver or else it will squander the massive goodwill that it still enjoys from the majority of Basotho.
Thabane and company owe it to the people to deliver.

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