Be neutral during ’22 election


ANY public servant who is contesting the 2022 National General Election should resign from their job by November.
This means they should be out of their office, position, perks and privileges before the issue of writ on April 28, 2022.
Regardless of what’s on the calendar, service to the public should be provided unhindered.
We have said it leading up to the elections and after the elections that, it does not matter who is in Government, the main thing is that the public service should be resolute in its own stand and that is service must be delivered.
This message has been coming regularly from politicians, bureaucrats, civil servants and churches recently.
Heads of government departments and state agencies should stay neutral and focus on delivering service – their core task. The public service is the engine room of any country.
If it stops functioning, whatever plans any Government has will never be achieved.
That is why the performance and conduct of public servants in and outside the office, especially the members of the disciplined forces, election officers and teachers, are often under scrutiny.Members of the disciplined forces have been warned to avoid being involved with intending candidates’ campaigns.
They should concentrate on their task of ensuring a safe environment for the candidates, supporters and the public.
Provincial police commanders have to sound the same warning to police officers to remain neutral and not let their affiliation to any intending candidate affect how they conduct themselves.
A good number of officers will one way or another have an affiliation with candidates but they are required to serve the people and not individual candidates.
Election officials too have been warned not to accept bribes.
The Teaching Service Commission should be on alert.
Provincial education advisers should ensure teachers do not miss classes for election purposes.
Being absent from the classroom, thus neglecting the welfare of young people put under their care, is tantamount to child abuse.
It is wrong. And for this noble profession, it is unethical and goes against the very principle they have vowed to undertake.
This is a serious matter since it can leave the little ones intellectually handicapped for life.
Absentee teachers also betray the trust of the parents of their students.
Young people observe their teacher very carefully both in and out of the classroom seven days a week.
They talk about their teachers among themselves.
They are their role models.
After all they are trying to learn how they should behave as they grow up.
And it is only fair that those who are entrusted to be serving the people through the various roles they play continue to do so professionally.
If they or any other public servants want to be involved in campaigning for their candidates, they should resign so that they are free to do whatever they want.
They should not abuse their position for personal gain.
Just like candidates who are required to resign six months prior to the issue of writs, public servants intending to join a candidate’s campaign should do the same so that service delivery is not disrupted.
The warnings given to public servants should be taken seriously as they are intended not only to protect their jobs and their families but also to ensure the continuing flow of service delivery to the people.
Surely it is not too hard to understand that.