Institutions are taking turns in mobilising their employees to answer to the call of the President for them to help him on his farm. A staff of Foroyaa that went to the GRA on Thursday 4th September 2014, noticed that mobilisation was on to prepare the ground to go to the President’s farm. After some of the Ministers and civil servants appeared on TV, questions were raised by observers whether it was compulsory for civil servants to go and work on the President’s farm. Some enquired whether one could be dismissed for failure to go to the farm.
The answer to this question is in the negative. Going to the farm is a voluntary process and no one should be compelled to do so by virtue of the office he or she holds in the public service.
Section 169 of the constitution states that:
“ (1) No Public servant shall be –
(a) victimised or discriminated against either directly or indirectly for having discharged his or other duties faithfully and according to law: or
(b) be removed from office or reduced in rank
or otherwise punished without just cause “
This is the position of the Constitution. Civil servants are employed to work for the public. They are public servants. They work based on an employment contract. They are not under any obligation to work for any other public servant who is holding a Presidential, Ministerial or Civil service post in any private enterprise. To dismiss or punish any public servant for refusal to work in the private enterprise of another public servant would amount to impunity and abuse of office.