12 September 2018

Botswana: Morupisi Apologises Over Verbal Abuse Incident

Palapye — Permanent Secretary to the President Mr Carter Morupisi has apologised for the 'extremely unfortunate situation' involving Ministry of Basic Education permanent secretary.

The permanent secretary, Dr Colley Monkge, allegedly used derogatory, discriminatory and demeaning remarks when addressing teaching management staff in the Palapye Sub-region.

Responding to the concerns, Mr Morupisi assured the teachers that he would find a way of ensuring that respect reigned in the public service.

Calling on leaders to be cautious and respectful, he said there was need for all to exercise restraint 'as we have an obligation to respect each other in our discussions'.

Mr Morupisi said all should abide by and to the principles and procedures of the Public Service Charter for the benefit of all.

He pointed out that one of the principles of the charter addressed the issue of regard for the public interest.

"It states that a public officer is a servant to the public and his conduct must be characterised by courtesy and underlying work ethics, which include humility, respect for every person regardless of their status in life and regard for the public interest," he said.

Furthermore, he said, public interest demanded respect for the law, adherence to the principles of justice, immediate response to court orders, full consideration of both short and long term effects of administrative action, avoidance of personal interest and full consideration of all matters relevant to any issue.

Mr Morupisi stressed that respect regardless of status was crucial in person to person dealings.

In his remarks about the principle of neutrality espoused by the charter, Mr Morupisi noted that it encompassed not only political neutrality but also fairness to fellow officers and to the public including the teaching fraternity.

"Equality demands fair and equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on the grounds of religion, gender, status, place of origin, tribe, colour or religious affiliation," he said.

On accountability, he said permanent secretaries were administratively accountable for the performance of their ministries, adding that public officers were however responsible for the general successes and failures of those they supervised.

"Accountability gives the right to share credit for the successes of the ministry but also carries responsibility to share or shoulder the blame," he said.

He said it was crucial to eliminate all forms of discrimination and ensure that each and every person was treated with respect adding that the current leadership emphasised amongst others consultation and getting views from fellow public officers.

In his opening remarks, Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) president, Mr Winston Radikolo noted that they were saddened by the reports made by their members, which also circulated on social media, about the discriminatory and demeaning remarks allegedly made by the permanent secretary when addressing the teaching management staff in the sub-region.

He appealed to the leadership to take the necessary action, adding that, he was confident that the matter would be handled amicably.

"We are aggrieved at the deterioration of academic performance in our country. If such instances can continue, then the teaching fraternity will be defamed," Mr Radikolo said. END

Source : BOPA

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