Head of the Ghana Civil Service, Nana Kwasi Agyekum-Dwamena, has cautioned civil servants against engaging in partisan politics ahead of the December 7, 2020 election.
He said following a Supreme Court’s decision that frowned on the participation of civil servants in partisan politics, it was important personnel remained politically neutral in fulfilment of their calling into the Service.
“Thou shall not stand on any political platform. Thou shall not engage in a debate or a discussion on behalf of the current government, past government or any aspiring government. You are not allowed to have your name, your face, masked or unmasked, on any poster,” he stated.
The Supreme Court in 2017 held in the case of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) vs the Attorney-General & 2 Others that, a member of the civil service or local government cannot contest for elections, other than local government elections, or hold a political party position.
In the unanimous view of the 9-member panel of the apex Court, excessive partisanship in the civil and or local government services affect the anonymity and neutrality principles required for the civil service to function effectively.
“At this stage of our socio-political development when political discourse is all pervasive and rivalry can easily trigger a whole range of reactions, including even violence, it would be most unhealthy to countenance civil and local government servants who publicly proclaim their [political] leanings in the public space,” a portion of the Court’s ruling read.
Addressing members of the CLOGSAG at the launch of the 2020 Civil Service Week in Accra yesterday, Mr Agyekum-Dwamena said any civil servant caught engaging in open campaign for any of the political parties would be sanctioned in line with the code of conduct of the Service.
Any staff of the service who wishes to engage in politics, Mr Agyekum-Dwamena said, must resign and join the private sector where there would be no limitation on their political activities.
According to him, dealing with political neutrality of staff of the service had been a key issue that confronted the service after every election especially when there was a change of government as accusations filtered in alleging political bias.
He said in as much as every staff was entitled to vote at the polls, “please remain politically neutral and don’t get involved in any kind of open political party activity.”
The week-long celebration which would be climaxed with an awards night to honour hardworking staff of the service is on the theme “Civil Service and Private Sector Synergy: A National Development Imperative.”
Reforms and innovations, he said were being developed and implemented to reposition the Service to effectively live to the billing.
These innovations, he said include strengthening performance management culture, improving service delivery, improving service charters and units, gender mainstreaming amongst others.