Pundari Rebuts Ipatas’ Statement

Minister for Finance and Rural Development Sir John Pundari says the people of Enga will be the best judge in the development of Enga Province.

He made this remarks after Governor Sir Peter Ipatas in a media conference on Tuesday accused him of not delivering services to his people.  
“I do have a lot of respect for Sir Peter Ipatas as the senior Knight in Enga. The people of Enga are the best judges of the issue I raised on the abuse of decentralized powers in the public service in Enga. I am speaking out for the silent majority.
“We politicians should not politicize our public servants. We need to give them their respectful space. I do appreciate the systems that are in place for appointment, but the fact is that many public servants are acting for over three years,” said Pundari.
“Senior public servants are under coercion and threats to make appointments as politicians see fit in education sector, village courts and the Public service in general. 
“They are being forced to support certain political parties and candidates in the coming Elections under threat, intimidation and fear of losing their jobs."
He said that when public servants are acting, it is easy to push them around and is not possible to do this when they are permanently appointed. 
“No wonder for political convenience these public servants are not made permanent yet even though the positions have been advertised more than three years ago. This is a direct insult to the public servants, the Department of Personnel Management and the Government.
“This kind of behaviour by politicians over the public service is dictatorial in nature and is unconstitutional. No amount of rhetoric will change the facts regarding our good public servants in Enga. The Enga people know the truth,” said Pundari.
However, Governor Ipatas denied claims saying Pundari did not know the system of the provincial administration.
“For him to talk down on public servants in the province is a ‘slap in the face.’ Everyone in Enga knows me and have seen how I operate and I have been running the Enga Provincial Administration for 25 years and delivered some of the best performing government services in the country,” Sir Peter added.

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