In a surprising turn of events, Chief Minister David Moinina Sengeh has expressed his concerns over the absence of over 155 public servants from various government ministries. The public servants were issued query letters on Monday, September 4, after a surprise visit by the Chief Minister revealed their absence from work “without an excuse.”
Chief Minister Sengeh explained that during an unannounced visit to the Government’s largest office last week, he noticed the absence of several employees. In response, he instructed that query letters be issued to those who were not at work without a valid reason, in accordance with the law.
Confirming the issuance of over 150 query letters, Chief Minister Sengeh pointed out that the Ministry of Agriculture had the highest number of absent employees, with 111 query letters being issued. Additionally, 14 query letters were sent to staff at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, while the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources issued 9 and 7 query letters respectively.
During his surprise visit, Chief Minister Sengeh also inspected other government offices such as Audit Service Sierra Leone, National Commission for Democracy, and Decentralisation Secretariat. Fortunately, all the staff members in these offices were present for duty.
Expressing his disappointment in a Facebook post, Chief Minister Sengeh questioned the commitment and performance of some civil servants in delivering their duties. He estimated that the public sector loses approximately 500 man-hours per day due to employees not showing up, arriving late, or leaving early.
The negligence displayed by the staff at these ministries, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, has sparked outrage among locals. However, many have commended Chief Minister Sengeh for his actions and have encouraged him to conduct similar visits to other Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) across the country.
This incident highlights the need for increased accountability and dedication among public servants in Sierra Leone. Chief Minister Sengeh’s efforts to address this issue are commendable, and it is hoped that they will lead to positive changes in the functioning of government offices.