His Hands were Tied


This book gives an insight into the intricate manoeuvrings in the civil service where personal rivalry, intrigues and vindictiveness were rampant.

The post-colonial civil service could not radically change from the colonial system which was guided by the General Orders and Financial Instructions. These were regarded as the bibles for the service. The ‘General Orders’ was designed in such a way that hierarchical order of seniority demanded almost blind obedience to instructions by senior civil servants, but sometimes some of these perceived obedience could be seemingly unreasonable or even ridiculous. This gave a window for oppression of subordinate juniors, even when such people could be quite intelligent and learned.

‘His hands were tied’ showed how the civil service structure and practice stunted its own growth with lost opportunities.