The spirit is willing

2017-10-17 06:01

THERE is great excitement about the unlucky cop caught sleeping on the job in Mpumalanga’s KwaMhlanga Police Station. Apparently, the cop was dozing off whilst on duty and some of the people waiting to be attended took the video clip which is doing the rounds on social media. Together with this slumbering cop is the video of a police officer seen using the police station’s landline to query some personal discrepancy with her DStv account. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has made a statement urging the public not to hesitate to report such negligent behaviour and promising that the Minister will “zoom in and attend to the matter”. Mbalula concluded his statement by stating that, “Service delivery to our people is not negotiable”.

We all need a couple of hours rest and sleep to function properly and to our optimum capacities. However, to sleep during duty is not something that goes without criticism. As the video clip of the dozing cop do their rounds, many people are not just outraged by such irresponsibility but also amused and satisfied that those who are supposed to uphold the law have messed it up and have been exposed.

Indeed, such behaviour cannot be condoned or justified in any way. Public service or community service is not a consultation on holiday resort or tourist information desk. It often deals with exigent issues and matters that need immediate response and attention. It does not help if the office on duty is busy dreaming or updating her DStv payment for late night soapie action. That cannot be justified.

If we are this upfront and candid with the police officers and their conduct towards their duties, what stops us from being as candid and forthwith with many civil servants and workers who doze during their shifts? If there is such an uproar at the police sleeping during duty why should there be mild consents on the parliamentarians who snore during the sessions? A couple of years ago a British Member of Parliament was accused insensitivity when he slept as the other members discussed the deaths of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Of course, he later denied it claiming that he was merely looking down at his phone. Our own Parliament has its shares of Members of Parliament wondering off to slumber-land as important debates take place. Many have been found accused and found culpable of sleeping on the job and using their mouths as fly -traps. Let us be honest, sometimes fatigue, sickness and boredom can make lure us to have forty winks even at work. Inasmuch as it cannot be justified, let us not get all worked up with isolated cases. If it is a once -off thing, surely a reasonable probe needs to be done. The unfortunate thing is that conclusions create drama and we all love a dosage now and again. Before we hear the barrage of tax-payers’ money, incompetency, ‘why crime is high’, perhaps we need to investigate the cases respectively. If we can let go slumbering in church and in parliament, maybe we should be more lenient. The spirit might be willing but perhaps the flesh is tired, sick or bored. Sleeping on duty cannot be justified but let us not get too excited. Maybe they are not sleeping they are resting their eyes, and allowing some fresh air into their mouths.

MYKE MWALE

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