The Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) says the Civil Service Commission did not exercise leniency in the manner it handled the offences of the 39 dismissed public workers from various ministries.
On Wednesday last week, the Commission secretary Geoffrey Kamfwa announced that the Commission had dismissed 39 public service workers for alleged corruption, bribery, misappropriation of funds, fraud, absenteeism and late reporting for work.
Kamfwa explained that the Commission decided to dismiss the affected officers after it processed 1,044 cases of erring officers in various ministries.
But commenting on the development in an interview with News Diggers! CSAWUZ general secretary Makai Makai said the verdict of the Commission was too harsh on some offences like late coming, suggesting that appropriate punishment should have been meted out.
“Some cases like late coming , I think those are cases were those people involved should have just been reprimanded. But where you have a Commission which gets itself excited in dismissing it’s employees then we don’t know were we are going. In as much as rules and regulations are to be followed, the most important thing is to understand that discipline is not meant to kill people, it is meant to correct. That’s why even those who are convicted, we no longer call those holding facilities as Prisons now, we call them Correctional Facilities. It is where somebody goes to be corrected so that when they come out, they are changed citizens. It applies to to the workers too, when a worker commits an offence, employers should not rush into dismissing and take pride out of that,” Makai said.
Makai wondered why the Civil Service Commission was taking pride in dismissing workers from their jobs.
“We are talking about the civil service where there are a lot of positions which have not been filled and a lot of positions which are closing, meaning that it is operating below the required numbers. So why should the Civil Service Commission take pride in dismissing the employees? Of course there are several offences there and it depends on the gravity of each offence. But for me, offences like coming late, to end up being dismissed, I don’t know. But all we can say and our advice to the Civil Service Commission is that they should not take pride in dismissing people. They should take pride in seeing a civil service which is performing and which follows rules and regulations, and it’s part of their role to make sure that these civil servants are inducted at every point they are employed,” said Makai.
“Because when you look at how civil servants are being employed now, they are just being employed and given various stations, but are they inducted? Do they know the Dos and Don’ts as civil servants? So yes it depends on the gravity of the case, but for some cases to end up in dismissal, it’s just too much, the Civil Service Commission could have surely done better.”