On the final day of a two-day Cabinet Retreat held near the Baptist Seminary in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, President Sirleaf instructed relevant government’s ministries and agencies to begin the employment of 300 health workers and over 500 teachers trained by the Government of Liberia.
She also instructed all government ministries and agencies to employ at least one disabled person, especially in the area of financial management, where she believes they will demonstrate a high level of honesty and efficiency.
The President’s latest instruction runs contrary to the spirit and intent of the government’s downsizing exercise or policy that received a lot of criticisms from the public when it was initiated some five years back.
It can be recalled that following the downsizing exercise, the President mandated the employment of partisans of the UP at government’s ministries and agencies in 2011.
Although some UP partisans said they have been left out, President Sirleaf’s instruction was implemented of which there is a proliferation of partisans of the UP at ministries and agencies, and also forced some employees to become UP partisans at the time.
Howbeit, the recent instruction by the President concerning the employment of 300 health workers, 500 trained teachers and one disabled person at each ministry and agency has created more questions than answers.
Political pundits are wondering as to who will be affected or downsized should authorities at the various ministries and agencies begin to implement the President’s new instruction; will it be the newly employed UP partisans or civil servants who have been rendering services to the country and its people? Or will the size of government be increased by the additional persons to be employed?
The pundits indicated that failure by the government to downsize before employing the health workers, teachers and disabled would justify claims that the downsizing policy or exercise was a witch-hunt and intended to create room for the employment of UP partisans.
Some argued that it would be unacceptable for government to continue to lay off Liberians for the purpose of employing others instead of creating more employment opportunities.
They said even though it is a good thing to employ trained health workers and teachers as well as the disabled, such must be done in a way and manner through which other Liberians will not be hurt or denied daily bread.