Of public service officials
What seemed like a prompt visit to the Ministry of Education to obtain school leaving certificates have left me scared and without any faith in our public service officials.
My story starts with a lady called Jennifer, a hypothetical character to represent that elusive public service official you simply cannot find when the moment presents itself.
Not too long ago, I had the misfortune of having to visit the Government Office Park, specifically, the Ministry of Education.
I met a gentleman at the Directorate of Examinations who explained what was going to be required from me to ensure I would receive the necessary documentation.
And there my frustrating journey begins and one that will have no end in sight because of the need to have to engage public service officials for the rest of my life.
In order to obtain my certificate I would have to go to office No. 56 on the first floor and there I would find Jennifer. Seems simple right? Not so it turned out.
It was a Monday morning and the gentleman I had seen had explained that there was a time constraint and that I would have to make sure I got to the office before 12 in the afternoon. Why I had no idea.
Fair enough I rushed to the office and walked up and down the corridors of the building in search of office No. 56. I finally found room No. 56 only only to find it closed.
On the door is a badly written note with an instruction to go to office No. 70 instead.
Off I went to office No. 70 because in my mind I am thinking its probably a temporary arrangement with office No. 70 which occasionally stands in for Jennifer.
I knocked continually without any response from the other end and decided to continue on with my Monday business.
Long story short is that I cannot seem to locate Jennifer because the office door remains closed. Office No. 70 remains closed as well and I finally decide to knock on No. 71 where I spoke to a certain Witbooi.
Our government officials prefer the last names, those in trade can relate. Witbooi informed me that the Ministry has been without a cashier (Jennifer) for two months and Hindjou (Office No. 70) is merely filling and helping out.
Oddly enough Witbooi is the Supervisor in the Finance department. Even more odd is the fact that Hindjou, his subordinate who is standing in for Jennifer does as he or she pleases without being reprimanded by Witbooi because as Witbooi explained, he cannot enforce his authority because its beyond his control, falls outside the scope of his work.
At that point I am somewhat irked, confused but find some humour in the comedy of affairs at play.
I never got my certificate and will most probably have to wait for the appointment of a full-time cashier Witbooi can hold accountable. The situation gets no better when you have the daunting task of having to certify your documents because the police officer at the local police station listens in on the conversation of a colleague who is opening a docket involving a stolen radio with a member of the public like yourself.
This carried on for ten minutes until a rude police officer approaches you and asks you to hand over the documents to enable him/her to verify, stamp, and sign-off. At this point you have to make sure the documents are in order because the esteemed officer on duty would like to sign the identity document followed by the driver’s licence and should there be a slight mix up you are sent away and they help someone else.
My gripe with these officials is that they act as if they are doing you a favour.
Goodness me but I pay my taxes which in turn fund some of these salaries like a vast majority of many other Namibians who have to put up with the pathetic and stinking service afforded by our dearest public service officials.
I guess its probably time government implements a charter that seeks to address the issue.