SOUTHERN Province minister Edify Hamukale has cautioned senior civil servants in the area against coercing procurement officers and accountants to do wrongs things.
And Hamukale has ordered recruitment officers in the province not to employ people from Lusaka but residents of Southern Province.
Addressing the media in Choma on Wednesday, Hamukale said he did not want procurement officers and accountants forced not to follow the right procedure in executing their duties because in the end they would be the ones to be followed by the Drug Enforcement Commission and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“I’m aware that some foolish senior civil servants are coercing these procurement officers and accountants into doing wrongs and these things are common everywhere. I don’t want a situation where after someone leaves office they are followed by DEC and ACC,” Hamukale said.
He urged the procurement officers to follow the right procedure because public resources were not for few individuals but for everyone.
Hamukalesaid he would not allow any civil servant in the area to dent the image of President Edgar Lungu’s government by not following procedure in handling public resources.
He said failure by procurement officers and accountants to follow procedure created problems during auditing thereby denting the province.
The minister pledged to support all procurement officers as well as other junior civil servants from any threat that they could encounter from their superiors in the course of duty.
He said no senior civil servant should abuse a junior officer, especially forcing them to work late hours, non-payment of their allowances in time and not including them on trips, among other things.
“I’m aware that the ZANIS crew that includes Nchimunya Nalumpa, Runiah Sakala and camera person Getrude as well as some driver have not yet been paid their allowances they worked for some time back but senior officers they were together and already got their monies,” Hamukale said.
He said he would not tolerate sidelining of junior officers, especially based on gender.
Hamukale cited an example of some senior civil servants sharing the newly built houses for the provincial administration among themselves without considering female officers.
And Hamukale cautioned civil servants against involving themselves in politics.
He said the role of civil servants was to only support the government of the day and not engaging themselves in active politics.
“In the province, I’m the link to PF and government and not you civil servants, so leave matters of politics to us the politicians. Here in Southern Province my office is the extension of State House so anything political, other than the usual work, regardless of who is involved, I’m the link and not a civil servant,” Hamukale said.
He also expressed concern at the continued recruitment of people from Lusaka at the expense of local citizens.
Hamukale advised human resource managers as well as other senior civil servants in the area, in the habit of employing people from Lusaka, to immediately stop the act because it was disadvantaging youths in Southern Province.
“Why should people from Lusaka be recruited in Southern Province when our youths here have no jobs? A lot of young people from here are being left out in these recruitment exercises in preference for people from Lusaka. From today onwards no officer should recruit anyone without the signature from the controlling officer who is the PS in Southern Province,” he said.
Hamukale said his definition of a southerner was anyone who stayed in the province regardless of their surname.
He said there was need for everyone to enjoy in their country and not only the few.
Hamukale also called on the UPND to accept the political wind blowing in the country, which he said favoured the ruling party.