Up-country insight: the double life of local leaders

NORTHERN PROVINCE  To bear the responsibilities of leadership, especially at the local level, calls for sacrifice, commitment and tolerance.

NORTHERN PROVINCE 

To bear the responsibilities of leadership, especially at the local level, calls for sacrifice, commitment and tolerance.

It is however difficult to balance the office work of meeting meetings and management responsibilities with having time to listen to the local man’s needs and questions of change in regards to modern agriculture, environmental preservation, health care and education of the children.

The ethical obligations and codes of conduct particular to each profession within and outside of public service must be maintained, and they follow below.

Loyalty - The civil service is the executive arm of the government.

The intimacy of this relationship between government and civil service requires the existence of loyalty spirit between the two.

A public servant receives his instruction from the government, and he or she needs to carry out these instructions without offending his professional integrity and meeting the people he is indebted to serve.

Accountability - This involves legal hierachical concerns within an administrative system where a public servant is held answerable for his actions or in actions to the legislature or courts of law and to the entire public, to claim service however, calls for meeting the expectations and the needs of the people one is assigned to serve.

Coutesy and Respect - Because public servants deal often with people in need, their entire interactions must always be courteous and fair.

Arrogance, hostility, roughness or use of abusive language in and outside the organisation must be avoided. A responsible public servant must be prudent, patient and respect the public they are serving.

Confidentiality – This involves non-disclosure of government information and interest.

The leaking of confidential documents is a serious offence. Should an official fail to adhere to this convention, penalties attached to the offence should be immediately applied.

Neutrality - The demand for public servants to be politically neutral in the event of partisan conflicts is absolute. Public servants should not assume the role of politically responsible officials.

It means being impartial, regardless of personal ethics, religious or racial considerations.

The local leaders should therefore try to balance running their official activities with having ample time to meet and talk to the people they serve.

This is what keeps democracy alive. Democracy is not a thing, not an object, it is a moving, fluctuating dialogue. It should never end.

Ends

 

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