Take no nonsense, says deputy minister

Take no nonsense, says deputy minister

MASERU – DEPUTY Public Works Minister Tšehlo Ramarou has told staff in his ministry to refuse to take any nonsense from powerful officials.
Ramarou was speaking at a function to officially welcome him and the minister, Lehlohonolo Moramotse, on Tuesday.
He said government ministers have no authority to instruct workers to do anything unlawful.Ramarou said workers must resist if he, or Moramotse issue an unlawful instruction, or coax them to sign documents. He said the workers should question them if they order them to do something illegal.

“Ask for a written document that will prove that whatever you did was by the authorisation of the minister,” Ramarou said.
“This is because we are politicians, we come and go and leave you here as the staff,” he said, adding that they will be the ones answering charges in the courts when politicians are gone.

“Sometimes you will find that the minister orders the workers to do something that is not right and then out of fear the workers just obey,” Ramarou said.  “When a new minister comes in and discovers that things were done illegally, all the wrongs done points to the worker,” he said.
The Public Works Ministry is responsible for the construction of all public buildings and roads. It procures services from construction companies more than any other ministry.

Meanwhile, Moramotse told thepost that he will do his utmost to ensure everything is done according to the law.
Moramotse said challenges such as the speedy issuance of drivers’ licences that have haunted the ministry for years will have to be dealt with immediately.

“I will do all in my power to make sure that my ministry speeds up the process of the issuance of driver’s licences,” Moramotse said.
For the past six years, the ministry has been grappling with providing drivers’ licences for hundreds of applicants countrywide.
The ministry has been engaging different private companies to produce the licences, but most of the companies struggle to deliver.
The ministry only began to issue the first batch of licences applied for in 2015 late last month.

Since the beginning of the month, the ministry has battled meandering queues at the Department of Transport offices in Maseru as applicants stampeded to collect their licences. “Now as we speak, the process has already been speeded up,” Moramotse said.
“The ministry has now already printed a few licences that are from last year,” he said.

Moramotse also said he is preparing to go to Pretoria, South Africa, to meet his counterpart to discuss how to solve the taxi cross-border problems.
South African taxi owners often attack Basotho taxi operators when they take passengers into the neighbouring country.
This happens despite the fact that Basotho taxi owners in collaboration with others in South Africa won a case in the Bloemfontein High Court that ordered owners in South Africa to observe the SADC Protocol on free movement between member countries.
That court order was ignored and South African owners continued to assault Basotho and stone their buses.

“I have just been appointed in this ministry. I am just waiting to settle and I will go and discuss these matters,” Moramotse said.
Addressing the staff, Moramotse said they should join hands to deliver services to the Basotho nation.
“We need your guidance as we are new in this ministry,” Moramotse said.
“I worked in this ministry too but that was a long time ago,” he said.

The Acting Principal Secretary ‘Mathoriso Monaheng promised to work well with the minister and his deputy.
Monaheng asked the minister to talk to the budget committee and urge it to increase the ministry’s budget for next year so that they can easily deliver services to the people.  “Our budget for this year is limited, which is a big challenge for us,” Monaheng said.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane

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