Friday, July 18, 2008

Jawula must go - says Civil Service HeadA

The Head of the Civil Service, Mr Joe Issachar, has said he expects Alhaji M. N. D. Jawula, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, to resign his post for appearing in New Patriotic Party (NPP) regalia at the party's rally at Kasoa last Sunday.

In reaction to the controversy stirred by Alhaji Jawula's appearance and formal introduction at the rally, Mr Issachar told the Daily Graphic that if the director failed to resign by next week, the Civil Service Governing Councils (CSGC) would take "appropriate action" against him.

Mr Issachar said the Code of Conduct for Civil Servants, as well as the 1992 Constitution, frowned on active engagement in party politics by civil servants and added that Alhaji Jawula's action last Sunday was a flagrant disregard for the rules.

He said civil servants were expected to provide impartial, objective and professional advice for successive governments and that once an official displayed affiliation to a par¬ticular party, he was deemed to have lost that impartiality, objectivity, professionalism and neutrality.

"As soon as you start developing deep roots for a political party, you cannot remain in the service," he said.

The Head of the Civil Service said he was sure that Alhaji Jawula, with his more than 30 years' experience in the Civil Service, knew the implications of his actions and would resign quietly to continue with politics.

He said the CSGC would meet next week and if at that time Alhaji Jawula had not done the right and honourable thing by resigning, it would be forced to take action.

He explained that it was only the council which could take action because Alhaji Jawu¬la belonged to Category A in the Civil Ser¬vice, which is made up of directors, chief directors and heads of departments.

"The rule is that if you belong to Category A and you offend the code, it is the governing council which can take action against you," he said.

Mr Issachar said he sensed that Alhaji Jawula had already initiated moves to resign, adding, "There was a meeting last Tuesday which he was expected to attend but he did not and he did not offer any explanation for his absence."

"That meeting had been arranged long ago; in fact, long before he appeared on the NPP platform," he added.

He noted that in some countries such as France civil servants who were interested in politics were given leave of absence to engage in politics, but said in Ghana the system had not developed to that level.

"It will be dangerous to allow that to happen," he added.

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