The Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) organized a warm farewell ceremony at Fairy Land on 31 January 2024 to bid good-bye to their longest serving Permanent Secretary, Mr. Stanley Dick Pirione and the Care Taker Minister for MPGIS, Rollen Seleso. Pirione served 12 years as PS for the MPGIS and 18 years through various ministries and agencies, while Seleso a first termer in parliament served as Minister since 2019.
Pirione reached the pinnacle of his career with the Public Service when he became the PS for the MPGIS in 2012 to date until his resignation in November last year, a notice he is currently serving. Through his tenure of three decades as a public officer, Pirione held various significant positions in the Ministry of Commerce, Immigration, Labour, and Employment & Trade as a Senior Officer. Gradually, patiently and diligently he made his way up through the files of Principal, Chief and then Deputy Commissioner and Acting Commissioner of Labour, and subsequently as Under-Secretary (policy) at the Ministry of Public Service for 8 years.
“I was 34 years of age when I was assigned the Under-Secretary position (now called Deputy Secretary) in the MPS. Learning a lot from my senior colleagues to whom I am indebted, I kept working hard. This is what success entails, working harder and smarter before your bosses can recognize you. That is the advice I want to leave with you. Keep up the good work and give the same strong support you gave me to whoever is coming to lead the Ministry”, he emotionally urged MPGIS staff in his farewell remarks.
Pirione strongly urged fellow Public Servants to commit themselves to work and strictly comply with procurement guidelines and procedures when it comes to payments and service delivery. Public Servants must demonstrate due diligence when executing their roles and duties and must ensure rules, regulations, and policies under current governments must be implemented with the available resources.
Under Pirione’s dynamic leadership, the MPGIS and the Provinces through its flagship program the PGSP underwent a robust capacity building that has overall progressively transform and improve the governance and socio-economic situations of the Provinces through their Provincial Governments in terms of infrastructural development. To name a few of the milestone-achievements by the Ministry and the Provinces, to date about 1,800 solid infrastructure PCDF projects have been implemented at a cost of SBD350M since 2008/9 (about 45% is in the Provincial Education and Health Sectors). Provincial accounts are audited and financial reports produced, PCDF funded projects showcased, attraction of donor confidence, engagement of local specialists and engineers, better terms and conditions for MPAs, Legislation of Provincial FMOs, and Formation of Ward Development Committees.
A remarkable feat that has laid the foundations of community development right in the hearts of people at the community level during Pirione’s tenure as PS of MPGIS is the implementation of the Participatory Planning Framework’s Blue Print through the formation of Ward Development Committees. These WDCs consist of members representing various community stakeholder including chiefs, churches, youths, women and other vulnerable groups, they serve as a platform where communities, wards, provinces, sectoral agencies, constituencies, and governments can work together to ensure services and resources are shared at the community level for maximum benefit.
Another attributable achievement is the marketing of the PCDF modality and its rigorous mechanisms at the regional and international level that attracted funding support from development partners. The parting PS acknowledges the development partners for their continued support to the Ministry, and the Provincial Governments and their Officers, and members of the communities, in ensuring the smooth rolling out of the PCDF the WDCs throughout the country.
Whilst Pirione highlighted some of the key achievements, and applauds the Ministry staff, PGSP Officers for the technical support, and the Provincial Governments and their Officers for ensuring the Provinces operate and provide the needed services, he lamented the unsuccessful efforts to get the proposed important Revenue Sharing Bill passed by the Eleventh Parliament. “It could be the question of power, control and lack of confidence that may have caused the delay of this important bill getting through Parliament. However, once this bill is passed it will surely address some of the socio-political and economic issues confronting our Provinces”, he stated.
On the Provincial Government Act Review, he said, it still requires further development as there must be surety as to who is supposed to deliver what type of services to the populace in the Provinces. He advocated recognition of women and other groups when it comes to representation in local governments as well as in the National Parliament. He stressed that women, youths, chiefs, and other groups must have proper representation through their voice in Parliament. He hopes that the Ministry through his successor would continue to pursue the conclusions of the two important tasks by getting them passed in the Parliament.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry staff, Deputy Secretary Governance, Robert Kaua and Deputy Secretary Operations, John Misiteé both profusely lauded the distinguished careers of the two parting VIPs abundantly thanking them for the fruitful services they have rendered to the Ministry and the Provinces which would be fondly remembered. “We wish you all good health, blessed family life, and success in your future endeavors”, they stated. In reciprocation, Pirione and Seleso expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the warm farewell and gifts presented to them. Both men spoke highly of the hard work, trustworthiness, responsiveness, professionalism and good rapport of staff in their duties as public officers and wished them all best in their careers.
Pirione’s actual contract expires in July 2024; however, since he resigned in November 2023, his three-month notice will lapse on 15 February. Pirione stated in his farewell remarks that those 30 years in the public service is a long time that is why he is paving way for young aspiring public service managers to take on the leadership and management helm in the government agencies, in this case the MPGIS.
There has been speculations that he has been asked by his people to serve them in another “role”. Pirione however, insisted that that is not the case. He is yet to discuss with his family, his tribal leaders, church leaders and people regarding his next role. The Ministry Officers and some members of the public however understand that PS Pirione resigned to pursue other political interests in 2024. Whatever his main reasons are, the Ministry wishes him all the best in his future endeavors.
The farewell party spiraled with contemporary dance performances, entertainment by the Black Wine Band, and singing, making the occasion a memorable one indeed. END###