Outgoing North Western Province Permanent Secretary Ephraim Mateyo says he regrets that his provincial administration has continued to receive reports of civil servants auctioning public services to unsuspecting citizens.

Mateyo, who was replaced by former Home Affairs Deputy Permanent Secretary Willies Manjimela, Monday, warned of punitive measures against any civil servant found charging innocent Zambians for any public services they are entitled to.

He further ordered all civil servants in the province with immediate effect to disengage from charging innocent civil servants and general citizens for public services.

Mateyo singled out civil servants under the Ministry of General Education, whom he said were among worst culprits who even charged their own teachers to be favoured even where procedure should be straight forward.

“…For instance, you head teachers; we receive reports about the conduct and theft of money! You charge people for whatever services legal or illegal and the accountability is questionable. So, do hereby take this as my stern warning that if you try and help yourself to public money the law will visit you,” Mateyo warned when he graced the handover to government of brand new class room blocks constructed by Kansanshi Mining Plc at a total cost of K2.35 million.

He cited human resource officers under the Ministry of Education who he alleged that they charged parents and even teachers seeking transfers from one area to another.

“This is very embarrassing, it’s morally wrong and I want this absurdity to be stopped immediately. I am speaking to the Provincial Educational Officer (PEO) and all senior education officers in North-Western Province; let us be humane in the way we handle public things because it’s so embarrassing to receive money to just have a teacher transferred from point A to point B. It’s also embarrassing to receive money just because you want to accommodate a teacher into a public school.”

He further added: “That is dirty money you are receiving from innocent citizens for such illegal deals. As civil servants, you are paid by government at the end of the month to serve citizens, and, therefore, do live within your means. You should stop these illegal and dirty acts! And this message is for all the provincial education officers, district education board secretaries, human resource officers and head masters or whatever you are called, based in North-Western Province, let us observe our morals.”

Mateyo added that it was sad and unthinkable that senior education officers ordered parents to pay them so as to enrol their children or offer other services.

“This is our country and it, therefore, remains our responsibility. North-Western Province is our province; it is not transferable to Southern or Eastern Province. Let us remember that it’s also our responsibility to do right and the best to serve sincerely, with integrity for the betterment of our nation at large.”

Kansanshi Mining Plc Mine Manager Clayton Reeves handed over a block of five classrooms built for Mushitala School and a similar one for Mbonge School on behalf of the mining company.

– Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.