BEREA — Prime Minister Thomas Thabane on Friday warned civil servants to implement government instructions “or hit the highroad”.
“Civil servants who are not willing to execute instructions of the coalition government for effective service delivery should hit the highroad,” Thabane said.
“We cannot all make decisions, except for cabinet. People should work hard or hit the highroad if they can’t take it. It’s not negotiable.”
The premier was speaking at the end of a three-day senior leadership training workshop for government ministers and principal secretaries in Teyateyaneng in Berea.
He was flanked by Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Sports Minister Thesele ’Maseribane.
The workshop was called to introduce government ministers and principal secretaries to the workings and culture of the civil service.
Thabane said it was imperative that the coalition government formed of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the Basotho National Party (BNP) outdid itself in the next five years “in preparation for another term”.
“I’m old and will not be seeking a second term. After five years, I will retire and hand over the reins to these two,” Thabane said, gesturing at Metsing and ’Maseribane his coalition partners in government.
“We need to work hard for the people for the next five years in preparation for another term. I cannot be elected PM then let people walk all over me.”
Thabane said as a senior citizen, both in age and status, he expected “to be listened to”.
“I can’t tolerate not being listened to because I’m a respected man, a colleague to the late Leabua Jonathan, Ntsu Mokhehle and Pakalitha Mosisili,” Thabane said.
The PM also challenged those who were listening “to do so in earnest”.
“People who work for this government must work hard. To the media I say, go and tell the nation that Thabane has instructed civil servants to work for the people,” Thabane said.
He added that effective service delivery could only be realised when PSs and ministers “forge healthy relations”.
Thabane added that his government was determined to cleanse the public service of political elements because “the public service is overwhelmed by political influence”.
“This is a sad reality glaring government in the face. By the third or fourth year in office, we should have rooted that out, cleansed the public service of political influence,” Thabane said.
“People should be employed by government based on their credentials and not political affiliation. Whoever tries to spoil this will simply be called to task.”
The PM also scoffed at people he called prophets of doom, saying they had prophesised that the coalition government “wouldn’t last even for a week”.
“But here we are still making great plans for this country. Lesotho had never seen a government of this nature until we came along,” Thabane said.