We would prefer to refer to the listening device found in the Lands, Forestry and Natural Resources Minister's office as eavesdropping gadgets. They were doubtlessly installed by somebody or a group seeking an uncanny political leverage. We cannot underrate the sophistication of such persons as we do so at our peril.
Any success at gathering confidential stuff from a state department especially one at the forefront of the anti-galamsey war should be inimical to the progress of the country. Imagine a victory for the illegal miners, the polluted water bodies and all the other attendant challenges which by all standards are National Security issues.
If the sophisticated bugging of public offices represents how far the political degradation in the country has reached then we have reached a worrying twist.
In the past few years we have experienced the misfortune of recorded voices of prominent politicians being played on radio stations. Such playbacks were all intended to reduce the standing of the persons and deny them the leverage they need to progress, part of the 'pull down syndrome' characteristic of local politics.
While some of the targets have denied being the persons whose voices were played, others on the other hand claimed their speeches or remarks were doctored.
Eavesdropping, morally inappropriate as it is, should not be entertained under any circumstance and those who engage in it the way it was manifested should be condemned. It is now clear why some offices would have visitors drop their mobile phones before being received.
People have become so mischievous that they do not find such inappropriate moves unacceptable and would do it to satisfy their mischievous plots.
It would be interesting if the security agents do a thorough job and establish the details of those behind the planting of these gadgets.
We do not expect a shabby job from our detectives especially since their competence in such matters are not in doubt.
A number of theories are being adduced for the mischief even though Minister Peter Amewu has refused to be dragged into making conjectures as to the origin of the gadgets. We agree with him because as a public servant he should be mindful about the remarks he passes in the public space. Remarks could be misconstrued by devious persons now that desperation appears to have taken hold of some politicians on the other side of the divide.
We wish to salute those whose meticulousness led to the discovery of the gadgets and ask that other public offices be subjected to daily sweeping of the kind which led to the sighting of the eavesdropping devices at Hon Peter Amewu's Ministry.
The discovery is a wakeup call to all government appointees to be wary about what they say and where say it. This would deny mischief makers the fodder they need to execute their projects.
Now that the possibility of offices being bugged is high, it is time the state acquires anti-eavesdropping gadgets to counter these projects because those behind it would devise more sophisticated means to achieve their objectives.
Personnel in such offices too must be educated about the eavesdropping intentions of persons outside these places, although it is possible that these gadgets can be planted with the connivance of staffers within the departments.