In Zhemgang, people are calling for replacements for civil servants who have either resigned or been transferred. Among the missing personnel, the dzongkhag has been without a Dzongda for over a year while the Dzongrab’s position has been vacant for more than two years. People say the absence of these key personnel is causing delays in decision-making and hindering development activities in the dzongkhag.
11 sector heads in Zhemgang have left their positions in the past two years. Among them, two resigned. People say the officiating staff are clueless and cannot make decisions.
“The Dzongda, being the head of the dzongkhag, is key in deciding all developmental activities. It is difficult for the people who are officiating to make decisions,” said Dorji Wangchuk, a resident of Tshanglajon.
“How will the people of Khengrig-Namsum progress if we do not have competent officials in our dzongkhag? People in Zhemgang, compared to other dzongkhags, are left behind and this is primarily because we don’t have a Dzongda and Dzongrab,” said a resident of Dangkha, Chophel.
“Once officials are transferred, we never get an immediate replacement. Most development works in rural areas are affected and this is down to the people officiating not having the authority like a Dzongda,” said Phurpa Lhamo from Bardo. “I feel if a position like the Dzongda is filled as soon as possible, a lot of our issues will be addressed.”
Zangpo from Goshing Gewog feels this could be one of the contributing factors to the district’s high poverty rate. “Zhemgang has the highest poverty rate in the country. I think our poverty rate is high because we do not have a Dzongda and other relevant officials,” he said.
A few officiating staff BBS spoke to say their workload has increased. They say taking double responsibilities is risky and difficult when fixing accountability. Another official said transfer cases are directly dealt with by the concerned ministries and the Dzongkhag is in no position to stop the transfers.
While the Dzongkhag is unable to stop people from resigning, BBS learnt that a few more are planning to hand in their resignations.
Perhaps the only silver lining is that eight new officials are expected to join the office soon.
Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang
Edited by Sherub Dorji
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