Civil servants, are they meant to Harass us?

Lily Habesha
Posted May 10, 2017 from Ethiopia

When i was little girl, we use to use the public transport, because it was the cheapest that we can afford.

The conductors were mainly women with sharp tongues. They were the best people who know how to insult their customers. You can meet a male conductor, but the story was same.

I'm sure they are insulting their customers yet.

There was a day I went to foreign affairs, the guard at the gate refused to take an envelope to my relative who works in one of our embassies in abroad. Who insulted me badly and chased me from the gate.

Few years back, again at the foreign Minister office, i was walking in. One elderly man from the guards house shouted at me; " Stay there, you are not allowed to enter. DO you think this is your mother's house you just walk in?!"

"Sorry, I didn't see that there was a guard at gate. You just came out after i walked in." I said.

"Who told you I'm a gate man? Do I look like a gate man? Gate out out of my face! Get out!..." He kept shouting until I can't give him more explanation.

Then a guard with machine gun followed. This one was sleeping or sitting in the room.

"I always come here, but the female security used to check my bag...but there's nobody today."

The older man kept saying i should leave or he was showing his power. I had no choice, except staring at him for more minutes, then left him.

When I went to take the school leaving exam at the University, students were pushing each other and the line was very tight. When a car dropped my sister and me at the gate, the line was broke. The University guard run towards me and hit me hard on my head with a big wood in his hand. I felt dizzy, my sister hold me tight and was looking at me. If the student s were making noise or not, we had no clue. The line was a mess and I was beaten for their mistake. If I bleed to die or suddenly I passed out, ...that guy could get away with it.

Yesterday, i went to a government business place. There is a natural hot spring water in that hotel. I hurt my both ankles and i was there for the hot spring water and the massage.

The receptionist at the massage centerwas a young girl. Stelz called me and i was on the phone, she said my number while I was busy. i went to the counter and explained what was happening. I sat from morning to lunch hour waiting for my turn. Too much waiting. I was walking like...ant. She told me to walk back where I paid for the ticket and to get a number again, so that i can sit to the evening. I begged and beged her, I apologized for my being busy on the phone when she said my number. She was furious at me, for no reason.

I told her it's hard for me to walk two floors down and again to walk to the gate. My legs are bad, imagine! She was mean. I walked to the cashier...she refused to cooperate, instead she sent me back to the same lady. With their small position, they mistreat whoever come across with them.

I went down and talk to a guard. "Those people are a God condemned persons. Everybody is crying here and ..." said the guard.

"Can you direct me to the manager office?" I asked.

No office was there except a law office and it was locked. I confirmed that is why they misbehave as worse as they can be.

They refuse to give me a chance and to refund my money. I had nobody to report them to. While I was walking out of the compound, I heard someone ..." Come , let me show you my office..." He was speaking to somebody else.

"Do you work here? Can you direct me to the Management office?" I asked.

After i explained what was happening to me, The two guys tried to assist and they were not successful.

One of the guy explained to me;

1- " If we fire these women, there's nobody who can do the work as them."

Look- their position was, to sail ticket and to call numbers when there's a room to be massaged.

2- "We are afraid to speak to them sometimes. She or he might be a relative of so and so. We have no power to give orders."

Both answers drove me crazy.

Who is so and so? Everybody should be subjected under the law. Nobody should live above the law.

Governmentworkers should be disciplined. Every citizen should be judged or treated equally. The civil servants should stop harassing their people. They are given the post to serve people not to hurt their nation.

If those women had no heart for me while I was not able to walk, what can they possibly do for the healthy people?

I was heart broken yesterday. I left the place with out getting the service i paid for. This is greatly annoying.

We really need to be changed.

Comments 6

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Jill Langhus
May 11, 2017
May 11, 2017

Hi Lily. Sorry to hear about these bad experiences that you had. I sort of understand the governmental places since it seems to be more acceptable worldwide, from my observations, for this behavior, and unfortunately I have seen a lot of bus drivers also be surly, but I really don't understand when you are paying for a service and get treated so poorly. Actually, none of these instances are excusable. People need to be kinder to one another period. Is there anyone that you can write to at the spa so that at least you feel heard, or is that a lost cause, too? Hope your ankles get/feel better soon:-)

Lily Habesha
May 16, 2017
May 16, 2017


That's how we grew up. Now we're adults, and there's n change. We have to bring a change, the new generation should not be corrupted as this.

I'm thinking of something, but not in the stage of saying it.

GOd bless my nation


Jill Langhus
May 16, 2017
May 16, 2017

Cool:) Can't wait to hear it, when you are ready:-)

Sally maforchi Mboumien
May 11, 2017
May 11, 2017

Hello Lily hope your ankles are healed now. Reading this post paints a vivid picture of what public service is in most developing countries. I am glad you are saying it loud because that's what Cameroonians get as service from civil servants. I remember a friend after standing for hours at a civil administrator's under the sun to pick up a signed document was told to go and come the next day by the secretary because she doesn't have time at moment to put a name and date stamp on the document. This experience made me understand we have Civil Masters not servants paid with taxpayer's money to maltreat and harass people of the society.

Lily this concern you have raised is the plight of many in most communities. Is it possible for you to create a group of volunteers to move around these public services and sensitise the service provider on their responsibilities? Basically I think getting a way to creating awareness on the gross violation of human rights by these civil servants will go a long way to improve the situation

Lily Habesha
May 16, 2017
May 16, 2017

Hey Sally,

Thank you for commenting about our CIVIL MASTERS. They truely are. As you mentioned, I'll try to have a campaign ...and will bring a change, God willing.

Thank you


Fatima Waziri - Azi
May 19, 2017
May 19, 2017

Dear Lily - Just reading your narrative cracked me So typical of civil servants, they act so angry and vindictive and the clog the smooth running of govermental processes. It is indeed a very big issue here in Nigeria, they are referred to here as "Evil Servants"