14 January 2013

Cameroon: Late-Comers Civil Servants in Trouble

It was 9:30 a.m. yesterday December 14 in front of the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy in Yaounde. A long line of staff members struggled to make their way into their offices but were prevented at the main gate of the ministry by security guards. Daniel Wappi and Tashit Sulemanou Mbipeh, both security guards at the main entrance of the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy which also host an annex building of the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Technological Development were respecting a notice signed by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy, Edouard Ebah Abada and that of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, Malachie Manaouda which strictly states that staff and other users into the building that host both ministries, should respect official working hours which begin at 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As such, the central entrances into both ministries remain closed from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. when they are opened for visitors.

After the vain struggle to enter their offices, some of the staff went back home. Others sat on stones opposite the ministry waiting for 12:00 noon when the gate will be opened again. While some staff complained that they are from meetings in other external services of their ministries, Daniel Wappi said at their level, they could not prove it. Thus, such workers had to wait outside until noon.

According to the communiqué signed by Secretary Generals of the Ministries of Water Resources and Energy and that of Mines, Industry and Technological Development on January 9, and pasted in front of the main gate of the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy, it has been noticed that some civil servants continue to violate the rules and regulations regarding the official working hours. Following the decision of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, to heads of ministries to ensure the effective presence of their collaborators and support staff to be on time at work, both Secretary Generals re-emphasised that assiduity, punctuality and availability at duty post remain cardinal obligations of the civil service and every civil servant is expected to scrupulously respect the rules which guarantee the celerity and quality of service rendered to users.

Edouard Ebah Abada and Malachie Manaouda are out to guarantee the effective presence of their collaborators so that they better serve the public, at the required time. The situation is not same with other ministries as one still sees civil servants making their entrance into their offices even at midday where the gates are widely opened all day.

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