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Friday, June 24, 2022
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Hedidor Alexander’s Folder : The Flaws In The President’s Response (Commentary) To The Auditor General.

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The back and forth exchange of letters between the Auditor General and the President reminded me of a ‘toli’ my good friend from Drobo the hitherto (ABOCOMDAS) told me.

He said someone and his uncle were playfully wrestling. Each of them had send the other to ground as the local rule required. When fatigue was setting in, the guy send his uncle to the ground and remarked to the uncle, ‘Uncle take this serious for I’m no longer playing, I’m already serious’

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The four paged letter from the President supposed to be a response can best be described as the ‘Ranting commentary of a serial caller’ it is as empty as it is also misleading.

  1. The separation of powers as espoused in the constitution was consciously crafted to ensure accountability and eliminate arbitrariness. Unfortunately, in this commentary from the President showed the president is only conscious of the enormous powers that he has but does not appreciate the fact that he has some limitations to the exercise of his powers. 
  2. The executive president appoints CONSTITUTIONAL OFFERS including the AG but is not clothe with the power to exercise disciplinary control over them. Therefore the president’s reference to article 297 as the basis for this directive is flawed.
  3. Rather, the only form of disciplining such officer in these INDEPENDENT BODIES is article 146. Therefore, it is the President is deliberately overstepping his bound or his actions could be akin to the danger of handing out a hammer to the uninitiated. 
  4. The AG as other such officers ones appointed are not under the command of the President nor the board but the constitution.

The AG reports to parliament not president. The Committee of Parliament that deal with AG’s reports is always headed by an opposition member so as to ward off any executive influence.

  1. There is a clear distinction between the Audit Service and the office of the Auditor General.
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The board is for the Audit service but not the office of the AG. The AG is a critical member of the board and is factored into the quorum for the board meeting.

  1. The AG is appointed and sworn in. He has six line directors called deputy AG. The AG can ask any of these to represent him at any point in the discharge of his mandate. The nomenclature ‘ACTING AUDITOR GENERAL’ is alien to the constitution. From this, the import from the AG’s decision to determine who represents him in his absence was spot on.
  2. I’m baffled how the president who is hyped to be a lawyer misconstrued the article 187 of the constitution and section 10 (2) of Audit service act as to the meaning of what is a public office. Thus by extension all public office officials are regulated by the Labour Act. The president should be schooled that his office is also a public office but he is not regulated by the Labour act.
  3. It is also important to note that the heads of those agencies exempted by Labour act are not CONSTITUTIONAL OFFERS and therefore can be hired and fired by the president any time.
  4. Further to this, the president either deliberately or otherwise misunderstood the section 31 of the Labour act. The void of any agreement to relinquish or forgo the annual leave is not interpreted the way President wanted to mislead us. Simply put, you cannot exchange your annual leave for cash or other favours. Thus you forfeit it once the calendar year is over.
  5. Finally, I least expected President to descend into the gutter just because the AG did same. As a career administrator, I’m becoming increasingly concerned about this unprofessional practice of circulating serious classified and administrative letters as well as internal memorandum in the public space. Were we not taught not to come out naked to chase a lunatic even when they picked our clothes while we are bathing?.  Should the president gladly continue this vicious circle? 
  6. Let me remind the secretary to the President of his code of anonymity. He writes for and on behalf of the president. The use of the pronouns (WE , US and I) in the letter smacks either a conspiracy or someone is other than the president is settling personal scores using the Presidency.

Credit :Hedidor Alexander

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