corruption, Sex, Sex, ministry of Works
MBABANE – The working environment at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is said to be at an all time low amid allegations of corruption, theft of document s and sex-for-jobs and promotions.
These are but some of the findings of an internal investigation by a team of shop stewards tasked to investigate irregularities in hiring and promotions of staff in the Buildings Department of the ministry. The investigation carried out between November-December 2010, centred on five depots; Manzini, Pigg’s Peak, Siteki, Nhlangano and Mbabane but to date its findings have not been implemented, much to the chagrin of the employees.
They alleged that the findings of the report were never imple-mented because senior officials within the mini-stry were implicated.
"Even though this was an internal inve-stigation, something needs to be done because there are a number of things not going right in the ministry. As workers we cannot continue working under these conditions. Everyone hopes for growth in his or her place of employment but things are done differently here, which is why the investigation was set up.
"All we want is for procedures to be followed when promotions are to be considered. People should not be promoted or hired because they are related to whosoever or come from the same area. It’s even worse when it comes to women as the element of sex comes into play," they alleged.
Citing the report, they said traditionally construction work operations are catego-rised under the labour intensive market and thus the depots needed to recruit manpower in order to run both the capital projects and capital works unit.
The investigating team in its report alleged that there were discre-pancies in the recrui-tment of the newly employed labourers who they classified as;
l Those who are relatives
l Those who paid bribes
l Those who come from the same area
l Those who are children of close friends
The report further states that they also observed elements of indiscipline and self- centred attitudes among the newly employed staff.
"That is looking down upon their immediate supervisors and refu-sing to take instru-ctions when told to undertake certain tasks because they were employed by the head of department," reads the report.
They further noted that the department was mainly dominated by males though there has been great improvement in the hiring of females.
"It has also been observed that sexual favours are rife when it comes to recruitments and promotions. This bad tendency has promulgated spreading its wings wider, such that the working environment is no longer conducive.
"There are illicit affairs and love triangles conducted at the doors steps within the premises of this institution," according to the report.
They also alleged that one officer, Sebenele Magongo, had his file stolen and as a result he was overlooked for promotion.
The team alleged that certain documentation was removed from his file and new ones were inserted.
"As a result of the changed appraisal, Magongo was not promoted yet he was the most qualified at the time," reads the report in part.
Some of the allegations as contained in the report will not be repeated as they could not be verified and because the report was never adopted as an official document.
Magongo in March 2010, in a letter directed to the Undersecretary alleged that his performance appraisal report was stolen from his personal file and the contents therein were changed. He claimed the stolen report was filed and signed by him and the relevant supervisors at the time on November 2006.
He alleged that when he enquired further about this, one officer confirmed having been approached by some officers who requested that he steal the file but he refused as he did not want to be part of any corrupt activities.
The investigating team made six recommendations, which they called on government to deal with as a matter of urgency but over a year and a half later, still nothing has been done.
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