YESTERDAY was world Public Service Day, an occasion where nations and their nationals globally had to reflect on the importance of public service to humanity.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly designated June 23 of every year as such, to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community.
It is also used to, inter alia, to highlight the contribution of public service in the development process, recognise the work of public servants and encourage the youth to pursue careers in this noble sector.
Since the first Awards ceremony in 2003, the UN has been receiving and increasing number of submissions from all over the world on the issue.
As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon once said, the observance of the Public Service Day highlights the invaluable contributions of public servants and administrators in their concerted efforts to build a better world for all.
For Zambia as Vice-President Guy Scott aptly noted, this year’s celebrations were used to reflect on the public service’s contribution towards national development in the last 50 years of independence.
This was aptly encapsulated in the local theme for this year’s celebrations which was ‘Celebrating 50 years of God’s favour: A public service anchored on continuous improvement in service delivery for sustainable development and wellbeing of the people of Zambia’.
To the general citizenry, especially non-civil servants, the day was used to ponder on the importance of the public sector to the nation.
Citizens reflected on the role of civil servants in the development of this 50-year-old nation which was founded on strong pillars of love, peace and stability.
The day should be taken as an opportunity for all citizens to appreciate what the civil servants and other public workers as well as administrators go through to ensure equitable delivery of public goods and services.
To the young ones, especially those in schools, the commemoration gave them yet another opportunity to aspire to contribute to national development by choosing careers in this sector once they leave school.
The youth should endeavour to join thousands of men and women already serving the nation in various capacities as public workers, as their contribution to the nation.
To the public workers and administrators, the day presented an even bigger challenge for them, to come up with ways of performing better than they have done in the last one year as well as in the last 50 years of Zambia’s independence.
We, therefore, urge each and every civil servant or public worker in the country to reflect on their gracious positions and desire to serve the nation heartily before even asking for what they are going to get out of it in turn.
Zambia needs a cadre of selfless public servants who are going to serve this country with patriotism and diligence, believing they are called to serve and not to be served.
This is a civil service which shall say “no” to corruption, tribalism, nepotism, laziness, thieving and other vices detrimental to nation-building.
At 50, Zambia should surely boast of a crop of workers in the public service who will stand ready to die while defending the virtues and values of mother Zambia.
And this should start with individuals before coming up with a group.