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No plan to fire civil servants says Metsing

Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing on Friday said there is no plan to purge senior civil servants who served in former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s administration.
Officially closing a three-day senior leadership training programme for government ministers in Teyateyaneng, Metsing dismissed talk about the mass sackings as baseless and malicious.
“There’s no spear that government is holding for PSs because they are Basotho, although rumours abound in the media that government has plans to get rid of them,” Metsing said.
“Government’s stance is that there’s no plan to fire PSs. Much has been said, that government does not want them but I’m sure as senior government officials they know their responsibilities and how they were appointed.”
Metsing however added that if government ministers felt there is need to work with a totally new leadership, PSs should not get hurt and conclude “that there’s malicious intent at play”.
“There’s no malicious intent. We should not stand in the way of that which is beneficial to Basotho. Let’s therefore not be selfish and think of only what benefits us as individuals,” Metsing said.
“We need to pave way for changes and if it means replacing government officials, then let it be so. Where change is underway, it’s likely that it will either affect individuals or many people.”
Metsing said the young coalition government set up after the May 26 election and made up of the All Basotho Convention, Lesotho Congress for Democracy and the Basotho National Party was beset with a host of challenges, adding that “people will definitely be affected by changes that will not be made with malicious intent”.
The workshop was called to introduce government ministers and principal secretaries to the workings and culture of the civil service.
Metsing said he hoped the leadership that participated at the workshop understood their responsibility and obligation to unite the Basotho nation.
“From here onwards, the foundations we make should be solely for the benefit of Basotho. If we start on the wrong foot, then our peoples’ livelihoods will be compromised,” Metsing said.
“It is the Prime Minister’s and government’s expectation that ministers and PSs will work together in harmony as this is the most important thing to do.”
Metsing also warned ministers, PSs and directors to guard against what they say adding that being reckless in speech “can bring destruction”.
He said although they were not prepared for the responsibility of becoming government and working for Basotho “no one would have anticipated ABC, LCD and BNP could work together”.
“Let’s therefore embrace it because it’s God’s will that things are as they are,” Metsing said.
’Maseribane said the retreat had made it apparent to him that being part of government was different from “when I was still on the outside”.
“When you’re on the outside you say whatever you want but once you’re on the inside, you find something totally different,” ’Maseribane said.
“Once you’re on the inside, you learn that there’s a code of conduct and laws governing the administration. Now we know how governance issues like managing public funds are handled.”

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