Focus on people’s needs first, ED tells leaders

The Chronicle

Fungi Kwaramba, Political Editor
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday exhorted public officials to always put the interests of the ordinary people first, stressing the need for teamwork in the implementation of Government programmes tailored to transform livelihoods.

Presiding over the historic signing ceremony of performance contracts for Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries, as well as chairpersons and chief executive officers of public entities and local authorities, the President said his administration is determined to serve the masses and ensure attainment of Vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle-class economy.

The second cycle of performance contracts was yesterday extended to Cabinet ministers including Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya, with results of permanent secretaries who were spotlighted under the first cycle being made public in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

Apart from Cabinet ministers, the second cycle of the performance contracts has been expanded to also cover chairpersons and chief executives of public entities and local authorities as an expression of the Second Republic’s determination to wholeheartedly serve and deliver a better quality of life to all the citizenry of this country.

The President said the performance contracts are part of efforts to put an end to undue contentment as well as mediocre performance and service delivery, which have in the past hindered progress.

“As you are aware, improving livelihoods, achieving inclusive and equitable economic growth as well as sustainable development which leaves no one and no place behind, are key tenets of my administration.

I am cognisant that productivity and efficiencies within the public sector, as is the case with the private sector, are important to the overall performance of the economy and the prosperity of our people.

My Government will, therefore, leave no stone unturned towards revamping institutions, systems and processes to make them more citizen-centred and results-oriented.

“As the leadership in the public sector, I urge you to always think outside the box by infusing best practices and innovative solutions to propel and sustain our institutions as engines for accelerated industrialisation, modernisation and sustainable economic growth.

To this end, it is imperative that as ministers, accounting officers, and leaders of your respective organisations, you must demonstrate urgency, flexibility, and agility in the manner you resolve issues and implement programmes and projects.

I equally exhort you to always think of the ordinary citizens who must benefit from the services of Government,” said the President.

He warned Government officials against seeking personal glory, self-aggrandisement and the advancement of narrow sectional interests saying public officials must be enablers for the fulfilment of Vision 2030.

“Under my administration, your performance shall also be adjudged in the domain of the citizenry, who are critical stakeholders of Government as part of the body politic; more so as we continue to implement the Devolution and Decentralisation Policy. As leaders of the public sector, your focus must be on improving the living standards of our people, anchored by a better performance of public entities and the delivery of critical public goods and services.”

Presently, Zimbabwe is implementing the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS1), an economic blueprint that seeks to deliver quality development for the ordinary citizens, led by the private sector.

“Drawing from the Whole of Government Approach, the diverse knowledge base and networks you collectively possess must be utilised to propel the success of our Government. Boundaries and a turf mentality must be eliminated at all costs. Teamwork, collaboration, and co-operation will get us farther and faster. Informed by our private sector-led economic growth ethos, you must deliberately cultivate and deepen relations with industry and commerce. Rume rimwe harikombi churu.

“Under my Government, there is no room for a “superhero mentality”. Ultimately, success or failure is attributed to the Government of Zimbabwe and not to individuals.”

In pursuit of transparency, the President added that results covering the four categories of executives, including Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries, as well as chairpersons and chief executives of public entities and local authorities, will also be made public.

“Performance under the Second Republic must answer to the preservation and defence of our independence and sovereignty; while at the same time, meeting the aspirations of the many sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nationhood. We owe it to past, present and future generations to deliver a better quality of life for all Zimbabweans, at every level.

“Through the high-performance culture of the Second Republic, Zimbabwe is now being ushered into a nation of limitless opportunities across all sectors, regardless of tribe, gender, region or origin. The review of the 2021 performance contracts for permanent secretaries, which was announced today, and commencement of the second cycle, must be viewed in this context.

“For the public sector, 2022 is the year of growth, high performance, production, productivity, and sustained success, as well as delivery of high-quality services at all levels. Let us, therefore, use this occasion to recommit wholeheartedly to serving our beloved country, guided by the mantra ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’.”

Yesterday, Government honoured four permanent secretaries who met their targets during the first cycle, namely Professor Fanuel Tagwira from the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Thokozile Chitepo Secretary for Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Dr John Basera Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement and Dr George Guvamatanga Secretary for Finance and Economic Development.

Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr Vincent Hungwe, said the evaluation process was transparent, fair and results-based with a consultancy firm engaged to monitor quarterly how permanent secretaries were performing.

A ministry could get a maximum of five points in the event of meeting targets while 1 and 2 out of five indicated poor performances, overally, the majority of permanent secretaries scored high.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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