By Anna Shilongo
Following the reshuffle on Monday of the 10 Permanent Secretaries from various ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Trade and Industry, Environment and Tourism, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resource, New Era yesterday made a random survey to gauge public opinion on this development, and this is what the various respondents had to say.
Ben Mulongeni, Veteran Journalist and Political Analyst:
When people sit in one position for long they become more relaxed and develop a tendency of laziness. Some even privatize their positions as their own homes. At times some people feel so comfortable and untouchable, and this is where they go wrong. These are the people who need to be reshuffled.
I don’t think it’s a wrong step; its only not Right when you deploy someone in a sector where he or she has no knowledge or background of the sector. There is a proverb that says you cannot take a child who is suffering from eye problems to a dentist or turn a mechanic into a pharmacist, because what’s going to happen next is that people will be poisoned and all will go wrong. Let us place people in positions where they can perform better for better service delivery.
Emerald Dewaldt, 17 years:
I don’t think it’s a right move because I don’t even know on what basis they were reshuffled. What makes the government think they will perform better in their new positions when some of them had failed to run their ministry’s efficiently.
Michael Haiyambo, Taxi Driver:
I am not happy with the government’s move because sometimes they do things without thinking. We were not even told on what grounds the PSs were reshuffled. Or is it just another scam of getting rid of each other. I hope its not political issues.
It’s good, because they need to be given a chance to perform better, especially those who were struggling with their ministries. Some of these people felt so comfortable in their positions and developed a tendency towards laziness. All they did was sit and push people around. I think I like the move. This is where their true colours will come out. Time will tell. An example is Shangula – we want to see if he will perform better in other fields.
I am a little bit happy because some people don’t know their work and they needed to be reshuffled to see whether they will improve. Changes are part of life and we should accept them. It is also another president ruling, and ever since he came into power these people were not reshuffle. Maybe he saw a gap in other sectors that needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency. These were all Nujoma’s people, and it’s right for Pohamba to move his people around as long as he knows what he is doing.
It’s not good, because some people were performing better in their ministries and now they have to go clean up others’ messes. I think it was right for them to remain in their previous ministries and be given a chance to improve, and if they don’t improve then government was supposed to replace them with people who can do better. Why hold on to a dead object? Isn’t it better to get rid of them or assist them with their problems if they were to remain in their ministries?
Girvan du Plessis
It’s a good thing they are reshuffled; it might bring new development and changes in the ministries. And I hope this is for the better because the Namibian government is good at implementing things, but once complete they tend not to care any longer, and that is why things go wrong in this country. People are not at all serious. That is why I think this is a good step, and it’s a way forward because most of these people are just sitting around doing nothing; sitting idle and giving orders. At the same time, they are the ones who are better paid while people on the ground have to suffer for them.
Lourentia Andrews and Jenine
We think it’s a good step to deploy incompetent Permanent Secretaries in less demanding ministries, because some of them were never productive. I fail to understand how a person who has been in a position for about ten years or more still fails to do the job. I hope this time there will be an improvement in our government.