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Are governors on their way out?

The reappointment of the country’s eight provincial governors for only a period of three months -which coincides with the end of the current financial year- has increased speculation that this dubious office may finally be scrapped.

The inner cabinet had already agreed that the post of governor, which is above the rank of deputy minister but below that of a minister, be scrapped.

The idea of appointing governors though well intentioned and meant to enable them to co-ordinate and oversee development in the respective provinces has instead created confusion over the years. At one time they even fell under the ministry of Political affairs, then that of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.

The concept itself is acceptable in many quarters but most analysts believe that governors should be elected and should have autonomy over their provinces instead of being government appointees who are merely there to pass on decisions from central government.

Some governors because of their junior positions within the ruling party have in fact found themselves in a dubious position in which they are required to consult their administrate juniors like district or ministry employees who happen to be in the party’s central committee.

The scrapping of the office will save the taxpayer $368 352 which they are being paid in salaries this year. Besides the salaries the governors enjoy perks which include payment of part of their telephone bills and payment of the wages of one domestic worker.

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