Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
The United Nations Development Programme resident coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli yesterday said there was nothing wrong with Government providing funds for the procurement of the Bio-Metric Voter Registration.
He said the UNDP will always follow Government leads in identifying areas that need support.
Mr Parajuli said this while addressing a press conference in Harare on the achievements made so far in the first year of implementation of the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework. “On the issue of BVR, you know we work on request from Government and all the UN programmes are joint programmes between Government and the UN and Government always has the priority,” he said. “We will do this and we will do that and we respect and actually we commend the Government for coming forward with resources. I think this is wonderful and that is key for sustainability and so in fact we very much welcome that.”
Mr Parajuli said as the UNDP they appreciated Government’s commitment to funding some programmes without relying on donor funding.
“There should be no question on who is doing what now or later because we always agree with Government,” he said. “We agree on certain things to do today and if there are changes we agree with Government and then we allocate the resources.
“I think there is no need to interpret these things in a different way. For us it is a very positive thing that Government is committed in supporting certain things and not rely on development partners.
“This is good. We very much commend Government in coming up with resources in whatever area although there are some challenges in relation to the economy, but I think they are doing the best in the current economic situation.”
Government has provided the $17 million required by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to purchase the BVR kits, although the electoral body will handle the processing of buying the equipment.
A number of opposition parties under the banner of the National Elections Reform Agenda have spoken against Government’s decision to take over funding for the BVR kits.
A demonstration organised by the parties against Government funding procurement of the BVR kits flopped in Harare last week.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda said going forward, Government would synchronise the implementation of ZUNDAF and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We need also to note that the implementation of ZUNDAF in 2016 coincided with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals which are UN driven, but involved all countries,” he said.
“But we had no time to integrate the SDGs with the ZUNDAF, but going forward from now we will attempt to synchronise the SDGs with ZUNDAF so that we don’t compartmentalise or operate in a silo mentality because there is integrated development within the ZUNDAF and SDGs.”
Dr Sibanda commended the UNDP for the role it has played in the various disasters that afflicted Zimbabwe in the past, including recent floods and droughts.
In 2016, the UNDP raised $322 million against a target of $326 million for humanitarian assistance, especially drought relief.
It is also involved in the internal and international appeal by Government for at least $200 million to assist communities affected by recent floods.
Article Source: The Chronicle