Deliver ESP or face the chop, DVS employees warned


MAUN: Government officers believed to be sabotaging government programmes because of their affiliation to opposition parties would not be allowed the same courtesy when implementing the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP.)

Deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Kekgonne Baipoledi sent veiled threats to the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) staff, warning them to implement the agriculture component of the ESP in its entirety or face dismissal.Government is apparently worried that some of its top officers sympathetic to the rising opposition parties may sabotage the ESP.Addressing the DVS Conference at Maun Lodge on Wednesday, Baipoledi said government expects them to implement the agriculture component of the ESP as it is not for them to start negatively critiquing it. Baipoledi, who said he was passing a message from his bosses, told the attendants that any officer who has qualms with the ESP will be relieved of their duties forthwith.

“If you do not see yourself driving these strategies, you do not have a job with us,” said Baipoledi. Baipoledi emphasised that the agriculture part of the ESP strives to make the sector achieve significant growth through commercialisation and implementation of agriculture sector strategies. He said the strategies include facilitating the processing, packaging and marketing of agriculture produce through the formation of clusters. It also entails accelerated fencing, promoting grey and raw water use for agriculture expansion and also the provision of agricultural infrastructure in rural areas.

Baipoledi said government has run out of patience in the “business as usual attitude” at the Ministry. He said it has come to a point where 1.9 to 2.0 annual average contribution of the agriculture sector to the GDP can no longer be condoned. He said this calls for hard work by the ministry’s top cadre.

“The business as usual attitude has to stop. For those who are fond of criticising say something that can help the situation or keep quiet.”He told the district veterinary officers that the ministry is disappointed that some of them are contributing to poor service delivery by demanding overtime allowance.“You are very senior. At D2 (super scale saary), but you are leading the pack in asking for overtime. This is shocking.” He said non-performance has set the ministry on a collision course with the community.

He revealed that recently the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ngami Thato Kwerepe came to the ministry and told him and minister Patrick Ralotsia that he thinks the ministry is deliberately maintaining Foot and Mouth Disease in Ngamiland to make them lose the elections. For their part the DVS staff complained about shortage of resources such as motor vehicles, something they said was disadvantaging them to effectively execute their mandate. They also complained that they were overwhelmed with work as there are many vacant positions in the department.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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