Thabane wants halt to dismissals

Thabane wants halt to dismissals

HA-MOHALE – PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane has ordered his cabinet ministers to stop firing civil servants as it reflects badly on him and the coalition government.
Addressing ministers at a retreat in Ha-Mohale last week, Thabane said it was wrong for ministers to fire and hire civil servants based on political affiliation.
“Stop firing or terminating people’s contracts in the ministries that you are heading on political basis,” Thabane said.
“I walk in town and someone whispers that I fired him,” he said, adding that this is all getting back to him.
“Let this kind of behaviour come to a stop! I say this with a very painful heart,” Thabane said.

His order is in contrast to the commonly held view that each government should appoint its own people into strategic positions to push its policies.
The warning comes barely a month after his government pushed out all principal secretaries inherited from the Pakalitha Mosisili administration.
Some of those principal secretaries have since sued the government for unfair dismissal.
The government has also recalled some diplomats appointed by the previous regime.
In what some see as a precursor to his dismissal, Commissioner of Police Molahlehi Letsoepa was sent on forced leave in June. Letsoepa has since been asked to justify why he should not be sacked.

It remains to be seen if the ministers will heed the prime minister’s call to stop dismissing public servants on political grounds.
Thabane said the election result affirmed the struggle that people went through to choose the coalition government.
“This indicated clearly who the people believe are agents of change.”
He said the ministers were lucky to have been given an opportunity to lead the government and earn salaries. But the poor people, he said, look up to the ministers to bring tangible change in their lives.

“These are the people who stood in the rain, the cold and the sun at times to choose us. They have so much trust in us and we need not disappoint them,” Thabane said.
“You are in for a complete change of attitude. After five years we should have stopped to complain about poverty, service delivery, about climate change, about corruption,” he said.
“We need to change these problems.”

The prime minister said “Lesotho should be more developed than it is in the next five years of our governance”.
He said the strategic approach towards reaching a common understanding on how to handle security matters demonstrates the cabinet’s resolve to uphold the rule of law.
“We have benefited from the synopsis of anti-corruption legal framework which has cemented our clarion call for a transparent and accountable government to the electorate.”
He further said service delivery should be the anchor of the government and its ministers’ core mandate.

“In the same vein, there can be no activity without financing. We have heard the disheartening report of our state of the economy and the discouraging audit reports,” he said.
“It is therefore my humble plea to the ministers to guard against the erosion of the public purse and diversion of public resources from their intended purpose.”

Rose Moremoholo

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