Zvamaida Murwira-Senior Reporter
CABINET Ministers and heads of public institutions will today sign performance contracts as the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa fosters a high-performance culture among office bearers to enhance accountability and good governance.
The development follows the New Dispensation’s commitment to making public results of the performance of Government officials as a way of ensuring transparency.
President Mnangagwa is expected to preside over the signing ceremony of Cabinet Ministers, heads of parastatals and State entities, local authorities, and other senior public officials for the fiscal year 2022.
Permanent Secretaries for 21 Ministries were the first to sign the performance contracts last year.
Analysts and legislators have hailed the Government’s decision, saying it will go a long way in ensuring the country achieves its vision of becoming an upper-middle-class economy by 2030 as is envisaged in the National Development Strategy 1 .
In an interview, Parliament’s Budget and Finance Portfolio committee chairperson, Dr Mathew Nyashanu, said the decision to hold public officials accountable was not only noble but was consistent with the Constitution.
“It is important that officers of Government account for the last cent of every allocation received from the Treasury. This exercise is part of what as the budget committee, we have advocated for. We need everyone in public office to be accountable. Accountability and Transparency are the hallmark of democracy,” said Dr Nyashanu, who is Buhera Central MP (Zanu PF).
“Citizens should be fully informed of revenues and expenditures of state resources. The signing of performance contracts is a commitment to responsibility as public officers and I commend the Government for this initiative. However, we should not end there. This process must be followed by a thorough monitoring and evaluation exercise for better outputs and outcomes”.
Chairperson of Parliament’s Public Accounts portfolio committee, Mr Brian Dube, said legislators have in the past been calling for the performance contracts for public officials and it is satisfying that President Mnangagwa is keeping a closer look at the performance of ministers.
“The Performance-Based Contracts are the best way to manage public officials, especially heads of department and senior managers. The idea is that nobody must be permanently employed yet non-performing.
“These contracts allow the employer and employee to sit down and evaluate each other based on deliverables. This is what has been lacking and has been causing a lot of under-performance.
“It’s a value for money exercise where the Government as an employer is supposed to be given a chance to weigh whether or not there is value for money in that particular employment in terms of achieving targets,” said Mr Dube.
“If there is no value for money, the employer is able to dismiss him or her. In the past, senior officials have not been accountable to the employer in terms of performance but only in terms of reporting for duty.”
“If it is a parastatal there must be able to explain what is their business, competitors and how they intend to achieve goals vis a vis the competition that might be around. As a Public Accounts committee we are happy that the best practice is now being implemented, it is the way to go, employees must be employed to the extent that they are giving value to the employer.”
Urban Planning expert, Dr Percy Toriro, said the Government’s decision was progressive as it enhanced accountability especially on local authorities currently reeling from the effects of malfeasance.
“The signing of performance contracts will benefit the public more than anyone else. Service delivery becomes a cause of concern for both the Chief Executive officers and the public. This is potentially beneficial to the millions of Zimbabweans who are served by the many parastatals and local authorities. From tomorrow, there will be no free lunch. Everyone is going to be held to account and there will be benefits and consequences,” said Dr Toriro.
“But I encourage everyone to see this in a positive way. Those entrusted with responsibility must deliver for their own moral satisfaction as well as for the public good. I hope this helps the country to create high-performance institutions that diligently serve the public. This should be a source of pride for everyone thrust into such positions.”