THE civil service all over the world is considered the fortitude of the Government, and can either support or undermine a country’s entire system of governance.
Zambia too has recognized this central fact and government has often tried to promote civil service reforms to boost its service delivery.
However these attempts have all too often been limited in success.
This is because political patronage often leads to bestowed interests that see the civil service as a source of personal gain through pay, promotions, and employment status.
Disappointingly such interests are likely to see any reforms to the civil service as a threat to the officers’ benefits.
Similarly many employees within the civil service benefit from being able to share out public money, jobs, and other contracts and are unlikely to profoundly give up such powers.
No doubt, it is Government’s goal that its departments work diligently together to craft a more really active nation, where people of all ages and experiences can enjoy the many benefits.
And with that in mind, civil service employees should be encouraged to lead the way by promptly solving workplace challenges.
But sadly our civil service is awash with reports of heinous absenteeism, late reporting for work, knocking off early leaving behind uncompleted work to go and drink beer or join in other activities.
Sometime such attitude can lead to government losing important and money spinning contracts when investors are greeted with empty offices.
And unless this attitude changes for the better, our civil service will forever remain a menace as far as delivery of quality service is concerned.
So the cries of Sinda residents over civil servants who are denying them the kind of help they want because most of them are rarely in their offices during working hours are well founded but certainly not new.
The residents noted with sadness that they are not receiving the kind of services they want from government officers because most of time they were either out of officers and the district altogether
One of the residents who spoke on behalf of the residents Patson Banda says it is sad that civil servants in the district are not giving their jobs top priority.
Mr Banda says Government has put them in those positions to bring about development to the area but are not performing accordingly, resulting in the lagging in some areas.
“The type of service delivery coming from our civil servants here in Sinda is very poor as most of the workers are not in their officers daily. Some say they are sick while others are reported to in Lusaka for workshops,
“It is alleged that most of the workers are not with their families in Sinda therefore spending less time in the offices just to be with their families and some report for work late,” he says
It is clear therefore that our civil servants have not grasped characteristics of the civil service as an institution that has for years been regarded as fundamental to national development.
We cannot deny therefore that the painted picture of our current civil service is full dichotomies between islands of excellence and seas of mediocrity.
Zambia should therefore get on with its civil service reforms as a matter of urgent so that this arm of government can begin to deliver the desired outcomes.