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IT is scandalous that even before the planned recruitment of 11, 000 health workers by the Ministry of Health, there are reports that corruption has reared its ugly head.

That a scam in which some human resource officials at the Ministry of Health are selling jobs for K5, 000 has been unearthed makes sad reading.

Our investigations have revealed that scores of people have been scammed through payment of K5, 000 for nonexistent jobs. 

This follows Government’s announcement that over 11, 000 health workers would be employed this year.

We are happy that the Minister of Health, Ms Sylvia Masebo is aware of the scam, having personally spoken to one of the affected persons.

Obviously, the officers involved are taking advantage of the country’s high unemployment rate by making desperate job seekers think they stand a better chance of being recruited by “oiling” the hands of the human resource officers.

Ms Masebo said there were some Human Resource officers at the ministry who are charging K5, 000 to unsuspecting individuals on the pretext that they would be given jobs.

And since the minister is aware of the scam, we hope the authorities will not leave any stone unturned to flush out the rotten eggs from the civil service.

They are the people who have tarnished the image of the civil service and entrenched the belief that one cannot be employed in the civil service without bribing someone.

This defeats the whole concept of ensuring that only those qualified and competent should be employed in the civil service.  If anything, this also applies to the private sector.

No wonder there are so many reports of poor service delivery in many government ministries.  There are too many people who bought their way into the system.

This unbridled greed for corruption can only be curbed when the public realises and accepts that it is a criminal offence for any civil servant to demand payment in return for employment.

It is in this vein that we implore Ms Masebo to impress upon one of the victims – the Kapiri Mposhi woman who had to part with K5, 000 yet no job was offered to her – to provide the evidence. 

Ms Masebo said she had spoken to the victim who indicated that she would identify the culprit so that he could be brought to book.

Indeed, it is not fair for the public to continue shouting about corruption in the civil service when they are not prepared to end the scourge by offering evidence in their hands.

The civil service needs to restore its lost credibility and it can only do so with the help of the public.

As Ms Masebo said, that it was difficult for her to act because most people were just complaining without coming forward.

The Ministry of Health cannot afford to have within its ranks with questionable credentials because its work borders on life and death.

It is our hope that the rotten eggs in the ministry, and indeed in the whole of the civil service be removed for the nation to realise its full potential.

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