LUSAKA Province Minister Bowman Lusambo may have ruffled feathers during his recent impromptu visits, but his action has certainly brought to the fore some of the acute deficiencies in public institutions that have gone unabated.
Yes, some people may cast negative aspersions on his somewhat militant approach.
That notwithstanding, his approach will break some long-standing barriers to efficient service delivery.
A case in point is the depressing situation at the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) where
meandering queues are a permanent feature.
The national registration office is yet another institution which has suffocated the registration process, which should otherwise be a smooth exercise.
It takes hours on-end for motorists to get a service from RTSA because officers have deliberately made simple processes very laborious to force motorists
submit to corrupt manoeuvres.
RTSA employees collude with ‘agents’ to squeeze money out of desperate motorists and other members of the public.
They deliberately make the process agonisingly slow so that a busy motorist can engage an ‘agent’ to do registration for them or worse still bribe RTSA officers so that they do not line-up in long queues.
Public service drivers would not abandon their routes to wait day-long to get their licences or have their automobiles registered. They would rather
engage an ‘agent’ to do the process for them.
Equally, other business persons and people in formal employment would not have time to remain in queues at RTSA.
It is this day-light corruption that needs to be weeded out of public institutions.
The Minister should therefore not be vilified, but instead praised for his militancy towards inept public officers.
Management teams and supervisors in all public
institutions must scale up their operations to serve the public with diligence.
Public service and quasi-Government institutions must be free of corruption and ensure that members of the public are served efficiently.
Many a time, some people tilt corrupt allegations towards politicians when in actual fact such a cancer is widespread among the technocrats.
Integrity committees were set up in some public
institutions to deal with corruption and other matters.
However, not much was achieved.
Local authorities are equally immersed in inefficiencies that force members of the public to submit to
corrupt tendencies.
One of the sure remedies, though, is for members of the public to resist the temptation of ‘oiling’ officers in these institutions in order to get a quick service.
They must instead report any officers attempting to entice them into corruption.
Members of the public should thus enforce citizens’ arrest on erring public officers, who continue to dent the image of organisations.
There is also urgent need for craft sensitisation programmes for members of public in all areas and in particular posters should be awash all public institutions.
It does not have to take a Minister to start policing officers in public institutions when such organisations have supervisors.
This is a very serious indictment on heads of
concerned institutions.
Zambians should not allow corruption and
other forms of downright criminality to take place right
under their noses.
Corruption is a cancer that could become endemic and counterproductive at the time the country has
accelerated efforts towards national development.
All citizens must employ collective effort to rid this country of corruption and inefficiencies that have dogged vital institutions.
There is absolutely no need for anyone to engage an ‘agent’ to get road tax or subject a vehicle for fitness test. These are straightforward processes that can be done within a short period of time.
Purge inept officers!

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