The office of the Ombudsman has strongly spoken out against the growing usage of sit-down strike by public officers as way of settling grievances, saying such a practice is in violation of the General Order.
The office of the Ombudsman is concerned about increasing trend in the use of sit-down strike by public officers as a means of settling grievances.
The office of the Ombudsman wishes to draw the attention of public officers to the fact that this approach is at complete variance with laid-down procedures and violates the terms and conditions of appointment of public officers.
It is understood that we have a conducive democratic space in the country, and it appears that certain people have the notion that it is within their democratic rights to employ any method to settle their grievances. In reality, this is the perfect way to undermine any democratic process and undo the gains already made.
Democracy is about rules and adhering to those rules. It is about institutions, and ensuring that those institutions cater to the needs of the citizenry. Grievance and redress are important tenets of democratic good governance. Happily our system has provided for it by putting in place mechanisms and laid-down procedures for seeking redress.
Public offers are bound by rules and regulations. To embark on strike in any form, without reporting to your place of work, is simply absenteeism from work without permission in contravention of the General Orders, the Public Service Commission Regulations, and the Code of Conduct for the Civil Service.
Having grievances does not justify abandoning ones responsibility, the obligation to do what one has been appointed to do. Such actions negatively affect innocent citizens who have a right to the services that we have been appointed to render.
The laws recognise the right of public officers to channel their grievances through the appropriate authorities. The Office of Ombudsman exists specifically as a public sector complaints institution where public officers can seek redress if they feel they have been unjustly or unfairly treated by their employers.
The same way employers are not above the law, employees are equally not above the law. We should not employ unlawful means to make legitimate demands.
The Office of the Ombudsman, your partner in the service of administrative justice.