Home » Governance » Government Appointments Not Sinecure [editorial]

On its own, this shake up is important in that it reminds those assigned to ministries that there are no permanent positions and no sacred cows in Government.

Positions are allocated in trust and those so entrusted are expected to deliver to the nation. Ministerial appointments will from now on cease to be sinecures.

The President has also assigned his two newly-appointed Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Ambassador Phelekezela Mphoko a huge task of superintending over specific ministries in addition to their own. While this is an onerous challenge given the number of ministries assigned to each, we hope they will measure up to the task.

More importantly though, we believe these assignments are critical given that Zim-Asset is specific about which ministries should carry out particular tasks although some programmes overlap across ministries.

Having a Vice President superintend over particular ministries means closer supervision of ministries. It means greater accountability in the implementation of Zim-Asset programmes. Ministers and their subordinates will have to be more hands-on as they have to regularly brief the Vice President on what they are doing and the challenges faced. This is in line with the performance-based management system envisaged under Zim-Asset.

Vice President Mnangagwa, who is currently the Acting President, told captains of industry who had visited him at his farm in Kwekwe at the weekend that in their new responsibilities, the two Vice Presidents would focus their energies on resuscitating industry and creating much-needed employment.

He said their priority would be on projects which deliver quick results to ease people’s suffering.

“Because of what has happened in this country, we would want to prioritise these issues and see things that can quickly bring about creation of employment, bring about development, bring about hope in our people . . .”

VP Mnangagwa immediately underlined the importance of industry and the need for cooperation with Government. He said Government depended on captains of industry to know what their challenges were and what is needed to grow the economy.

This spirit of engagement and consultation is vital for the successful implementation of Zim-Asset. It not only removes mutual suspicion between Government and the private sector but also helps in clarifying policy and getting immediate input. Captains of industry become development partners.

In the past few months, there had been a disconnect in which the private sector spoke about Government programmes as if they were tourists.

Most private sector leaders were cynical about Zim-Asset, always seeking policy clarity from the sidelines. That meant there was very little they could do to explain the policy to potential foreign investors wanting to come into the country.

The new approach to directly engage should clear the air. Government and the private sector should start speaking with one voice. Conflicting centres of power and opportunistic oppositional politics should be a thing of the past. Everybody has a duty to make Zimbabwe great.

More importantly, industry should take Government’s offer of engagement seriously and start playing a constructive role rather than act as bemused bystanders.

Source : The Herald