Namibia: Shapwa Demands Commitment From Justice Staff

17 February 2020

Deputy justice minister Lidwina Shapwa says public servants cannot become attached to the political heads who lead their ministries.

"You are the backbone of the government and must strive to always deliver top quality service to the public. In your execution of duties, you are expected to uphold the relevant values of the public service in your conduct in your offices on such matters as diligence in your work, ethos of hard work and selflessness in your dedication to duty, trustworthiness and reliability in your ability to execute your functions," she told the ministry's staff members on Friday.

Equally, she noted, staff members are expected to seriously reflect on whether they are doing enough in putting their time fully at the disposal of their employer.

Following President Hage Geingob's declaration that this is a year of introspection, she said it is important that each of them ask themselves every day whether or not they are doing enough.

Shapwa said her concern is prompted by the numerous requests from staff members to be allowed to perform remunerative work outside employment which is relevant to whether they really devote sufficient time to their work while they would also like to engage in private businesses.

"Even if one demonstrates in his or her submission that there will be no conflict between your devotion to duty and the private businesses engaged in, concerns remain whether one is not, in fact, conducting private businesses during official hours of attendance," she remarked.

Shapwa urged those in management positions to take their responsibilities seriously and to properly manage staff members in matters such as adherence to official hours of attendance, management of leave of absence through submission of applications for leave to ensure all absences are accounted for.

She strongly discouraged the practice of indulging absences without the submission of applications.

She argued poor management of the staff members' leave of absence can have huge financial implications for the government if correct records of absences are not kept.

Moreover, she encouraged staff to report incidences of concern to supervisors and management or if need be, to the relevant law enforcement agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation.

She said she noted that in the past year, a number of alleged incidents of corruption were reported in the media based on information availed by staff members to media houses.

"While it is right that wrongdoing must be exposed and rooted out; it is not acceptable that staff members allow themselves to be induced in breaking their obligations not to disclose information to unauthorised recipients. Wrongdoing should only be reported to agencies empowered to do something about such allegations," she cautioned.

-anakale@nepc.com.na

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