Rumours are rife about all that is happening with the changing of the ministerial guard at the various government ministries. We hear, for example, that one transferred minister had barely had time to warm the chair in her new office before the matter of about thirty missing computers was put before her. Apparently the vanished laptops were a gift to the Ministry from someone seeking favours and it appears that they were simply locked away. Some time last month, reportedly, someone decided that they had been in storage for far too long and reasoned that they might have been forgotten. As we used to say as small boys they were huffed for not moving. Now the brand new Minister has to play Sherlock Holmes as a first official assignment.
We hear too that a vehicle can’t be found. Actually, it’s not so much that it can’t be found as that the one-time user might have fallen in love with it.
Probably no less discomfiting is news that those Ministers who are shifting from one portfolio to the next have decided to empty much more than their desk drawers. They’re taking secretaries and personal assistants and advisors and in at least one case, a bodyguard.
Now this is nothing new but the question is whether or not the Public Service Commission or whomsoever is responsible for these people who go where their Ministers go are OK with the practice. One can understand a Secretary, perhaps……and maybe a driver. But when sundry personal assistants and advisors start running from pillar to post behind ministers is it not likely to create a dysfunctional situation in the ministries. Already there is talk that some of the old hands who didn’t get the call to go with their ministers will have to make room for those who have now been brought along with their ministers.
Apparently some of those who have been grounded are retirees and we are told that at least one minister is dead set against retirees and is busy seeking to undo employment contracts so that those retirees can be properly retired. Some of the retirees know who they are and word is that they are packed and waiting for their marching orders.
Some Ministries will have to be remodeled. The process has already started…we are told……in at least one Ministry. Walls are being knocked down and officers removed to facilitate ministers whom, it appears, are accustomed to operating in more space than their predecessors did.
Not much word on Permanent Secretaries……yet……though we understand that at least one has already been put out to pasture.