FRANCISTOWN: The Francistown City Council(FCC) is working flat out to meet the deadline set by permanent secretary, Thato Raphaka when he addressed Ministry of Local Government workers last Friday.
Raphaka had given the council until today to have, among other things, made confirmations on those whose confirmations were long overdue and the issue of some people who reportedly refused to go on transfer when legitimately transferred.
Though she seemed ill at ease to reveal what they were doing to fulfill the demands, the council's public relations officer, Priscilla Gulubane told Mmegi that the council management is addressing the demands.
"After they have addressed them they will forward the recommendations to the permanent secretary who will come up with the way forward," Gulubane said.
She however could not say whether they will beat the deadline.
Raphaka, who promised fire and brimstone on the council management was in Francistown to galvanise the workers into working hard so as to deliver services to the people, in accordance with President Ian Khama's latest "D" for "Delivery".
When Mmegi phoned his office to comment on the deadline, his secretary could only refer this reporter to the public relations office. An officer there, Pesalema Ntshupeng tried on our behalf to request if we could talk to the permanent secretary, but was equally rebuffed by Raphaka's secretary.
"I have hit a brick wall too," was all Ntshupeng could say.
There was a convergence of opinions at the fully packed Francistown civic centre that something must be done about the rot at the council, especially the department of Human Resources.
The meeting heard that the department has far removed itself from the people it is supposed to serve.
The issues that got Raphaka really hot under the collar were those of people who had stayed for a long time without being confirmed and also those who refused to be transferred to other stations.
The PS, who had earlier addressed the overflowing audience in a fatherly tone, said say that it appeared there were people at the department who were shirking their responsibility.
"But we are not going to be apologetic about issues that affect our people. Confirmation can affect an officer when he or she retires. Some people have died before they could enjoy their benefits because of problems like this. No, we cannot allow this to go on," he charged.
At the meeting, officers of the department could not help cowering as the president of Botswana Landboards Local Authorities Workers Union, Pelotshweu Baeng also came down heavily on them, accusing them of "total disregard for their mandate".
An employee of Roads Department requested Raphaka to convey his suggestion to President Khama that a sixth "D' - for dismissal - should be introduced.
'The rot is with top management. As for us in the lower ranks, we are doing everything possible to deliver but our leaders always say there is no money. I would hence love our president to introduce the sixth "D" for dismissal," said the officer.