Felex Share Herald Reporter
MINISTERS and other Government officials should pull their full weight in the discharge of their duties because the Presidency will not tolerate failure when the nation has pinned its hopes on Zanu-PF, Acting President Joice Mujuru has said.Zanu-PF’s vision, as stated in the party’s election manifesto, she said, should now be turned into reality and performance contracts would be introduced for senior Government officials.
Cde Mujuru made the remarks during a consultative workshop for Cabinet ministers, their deputies, permanent secretaries and officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet in Harare yesterday.
The workshop was for ministers to make contributions to be considered in refining the Zimbabwe Programme for Socio-Economic Transformation, an economic blue print that will guide policy formulation and implementation of Government programmes for the next five years.
The document will be tabled in Cabinet for adoption before being officially launched by President Mugabe.
“We are the Government of the day, failure is not an option because we have to maintain and nurture the people’s confidence in us,” Acting President Mujuru said.
“It is imperative that we fully engage ourselves in the mode of a result-based Government and deliver what people expect of us.”
The crafting of the economic blueprint, done by the Office of the President and Cabinet, was largely informed by the Zanu-PF manifesto as the party had the mandate to form Government after its resounding victory in the July 31 harmonised elections.
The manifesto is centred on indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation, mining and the revival of industry. The economic blueprint also has input from farmers, bankers and the private sector.
Cde Mujuru said Government should work hard to meet the “high expectations” of Zimbabweans.
“As ministers, you will need to work hard given that the economy has a myriad of challenges against the high expectations of the people of Zimbabwe,” she said.
“These expectations include enjoyment of a higher standard of living from improved infrastructure and better service delivery.”
The Acting President said with performance contracts, Government officials would always be on their toes to ensure quality service delivery.
“Introduction of performance contracts will ensure that senior Government officers, as custodians of policy formulation and implementation, are accountable for their actions to the people they serve,” she said.
“At the same time, the citizens must be afforded a platform to interrogate Government on issues of public service delivery and decision-making.”
She said to ensure that Government ministries were more accountable, fair and transparent to the people, independent evaluations on performance would be conducted.
She said corrective measures would be taken where there were deficiencies.
“In all these efforts, the Office of the President and Cabinet will take a lead role in providing the necessary leadership and guidance as well as monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes.
“The office has been reconfigured to ensure that this happens. At the same time, the Civil Service Commission will ensure that the required competencies are efficiently deployed to obtain better results for the people.”
Cde said the people’s hopes lay in the hands of ministers and senior Government officials. Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said the objectives of ZIMPSET were to boost economic recovery and growth as well as investing in sustainable and robust solutions to food insecurity.
“It is also aimed at improving production and export of goods and services through value addition and beneficiation,” he said.
“Another objective is also to expand accessibility and utilisation of ICTs, building and rehabilitating infrastructure and utilities, availing and increasing social and economic opportunities for women, youths and physically challenged persons in our communities.”
Dr Sibanda expressed hope that ZIMPSET would yield results.
“It is our profound hope that implementation of ZIMPSET would yield short to medium term gains that will result in a growing economy that is highly competitive in the region and indeed the rest of Africa as well as building an empowered society that has control of the means of production,” he said.
He said the blueprint would focus on acceleration of public-private partnership to fund economic revival and infrastructural development.
Dr Sibanda said the blueprint should be implemented starting this month to the first quarter of 2014, while the rest of the programme was expected to be implemented between the first quarter 2014 and December 2015.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Mr Willard Manungo said Government would unveil a Sovereign Wealth Fund aimed at raising capital from internal resources to sustain economic requirements.
The Fund was expected to solve dependence on funding from regional and international financiers.
“This facility is critical and we hope it will unlock more capital,” said Mr Manungo. “It has an advantage of boosting economic activities as it seeks to use local resources as collateral on offshore loans and is being mooted by Government after the realisation that the Medium Term Plan crafted during the inclusive Government era failed to attain its goals.”