Editor's Comment

Take jobs seriously

LOCAL government is a very important arm of public service. It is the face of Government’s delivery of social services.
Those that fail to fit into this mix must be guided accordingly, but this should not be in perpetuity. Those that continue being incorrigible must be shown the door. They must leave. There is no shortage of human capital in Zambia for any employer to stick to those that are liabilities and a threat to the success of set targets.
The Local Government Service Commission is, therefore, on point in endorsing the dismissal of 15 workers who fell far short of their respective terms of engagement in the various local authorities.
Government delivers many services through local authorities, so anyone who is tasked with responsibilities at this level, or indeed any other public function, must know that theirs is a responsibility that must be taken seriously.
Given the importance of local government, citizens expect total dedication and honesty from the people tasked to deliver various services on behalf of the central government.
Quality service delivery is cardinal for any service provider, whether private or public. The role of employees in delivering quality service is of paramount importance, hence the need to have a cadre of employees that are not only disciplined but also possess integrity.
It is a pity that some employees in local authorities decide to take the law into their own hands by being disloyal through corruption and theft of public resources.
That is why the Local Government Service Commission has dismissed 15 employees for misappropriation of funds, theft, dishonest conduct, gross negligence and absenteeism.
Honestly, how can local authorities deliver quality services if employees will be involved in the misappropriation of funds, theft, dishonest conduct, gross negligence and absenteeism?
If the country has a cadre of employees that are undisciplined and dishonest, the delivery of services would be poor. The quality of the services would not meet the expectations of the people they are intended for.
It is therefore both a sad day and a day of reckoning for the local government to fire employees due to acts of indiscipline and dishonesty. Sad because Zambia still has such rotten eggs in our midst and an important day because this should be the action to be taken against all those that fail to do what is expected of them.
No employer rejoices in dismissing employees, but every employer has a duty to protect the interests of an organisation and those of its stakeholders such as customers.
In this case, the Local Government Service Commission is protecting the interests of the local authorities and the residents who deserve quality services.
Employees in local authorities are paid using taxpayers’ money and the levies generated by their employers, so they must take their jobs seriously and show respect for all stakeholders.
The dismissals of the 15 employees are therefore a wake-up call to serving local government employees that no form of indiscipline or dishonesty will go unpunished and no employee can engage in any acts of indiscipline or dishonest with impunity.
There is therefore need for the Local Government Service Commission to promote values such as hard work, integrity and customer focus in order for local government institutions to deliver quality services.
There is also need to orient and re-orient employees in local authorities to ethos of their work. That is why Government operationalised the National Institute of Public Administration and Chalimbana University so that all new employees are schooled in hard work and patriotism.
Beyond dismissing the employees, those with cases of misappropriation of funds and thefts should be handed over to the Zambia Police Service for further punishment.
The others should be blacklisted so that it would be difficult for them to find jobs elsewhere, especially in Government or local authorities. This might seem harsh considering that people do repent or reform, but these are matters that should not be dealt with with kid gloves.
The Local Government Service Commission should go further by engaging the people or institutions that may have referenced such dishonesty and lazy employees.
While thousands of university and college graduates are languishing on the streets due to lack of employment opportunities, it is a pity that some of those in employment can be taking their jobs for granted.

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