President bans unnecessary international travel by ministers

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter 

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has ordered Cabinet ministers and senior civil servants to immediately stop unnecessary international travel and double their efforts towards serving the people.

The President said there is a need for Government to attain all the set targets as the Second Republic enters its fourth year of governance and Cabinet ministers will be expected to provide periodic reports on what their departments are doing.

Last week, Cabinet ministers and heads of public institutions signed performance contracts before the President, as the Second Republic fosters a high-performance culture among office bearers to enhance accountability and good governance.

Results of their performance will be made public as a way of ensuring transparency.

Government is putting in place a number of measures and rolling out programmes aimed at ensuring that the country achieves its vision of becoming an upper-middle income economy by 2030 as is envisaged in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

Addressing the first 2022 Cabinet meeting in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Cabinet should develop and implement more innovative and multi-pronged strategies to drive economic growth towards the achievement of targets outlined in NDS1.

The President said Cabinet’s workflow should be more predictable so that Government focuses more on implementation of policies and programmes.

He said under the performance-based contracts system, Cabinet ministers are expected to be more accountable.

He expressed concern over unnecessary travel.

“I have observed a worrisome trend where as ministers, you are now prone to foreign travel, along with your senior officials. This unbecoming culture should stop forthwith,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President said Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ministers will for the first time be incorporated into Cabinet committees due to the critical role they will be playing in the economic development of provinces.

“Following the substantial resource envelop availed for the Devolution and Decentralisation Programme in the 2022 National Budget, visible transformation across the respective provinces, is imperative.

The Office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution has since been strengthened,” said the President.

“The thrust is to ensure that the focus of planning and managing implementation of development progressively shifts to provinces and the community levels.

For consistency and greater synergies, Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution will be co-opted into some Cabinet Committees.”

He said quarterly reports under NDS1 will form a critical part of Government’s agenda to ensure that progress is tracked.

The President said Vision 2030 is attainable. 

“During this period, our nation has experienced some bitter-sweet moments.

Be that as it is, many successes continue to be scored in our quest to improve the plight of the people of our great motherland, Zimbabwe.

Against the backdrop of the signing of Performance Contracts last week; let us increase our work rate towards being a more successful Government.

Individually and collectively, we have a sacred obligation to press on for more, and better results,” he said.

“Patriotism and loyalty to our national vision; unflinching commitment and dedication to serving the people of our country; thoroughness in the execution of tasks, among other attributes is what will propel high impact results. We must speak in unison and work with greater synergy.

We are only as strong as the weakest link among us. As such, due attention must be given not only to our strengths but also to our weaknesses over and above the weaker Ministries, Departments and Agencies.”

President Mnangagwa said driven mainly by buoyant performance of the mines and minerals sector, the country’s economy is expected to grow by around 7,4 percent this year.

He said despite a slow start to the 2021/2022 summer cropping season, there are now enhanced prospects for an overall good season, which will further consolidate national food security.

President Mnangagwa said the country is optimistic for economic recovery as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He encouraged unvaccinated citizens to get vaccinated following the procurement of adequate Covid-19 vaccines to enable the country to achieve herd immunity.

President Mnangagwa said climate change continues to affect the socio-economic landscape while contributing to massive destruction in both rural and urban settlements.

“The number of households in dire need for alternative accommodation has risen as well as infrastructure that needs rehabilitation, following an increase in violent storms and floods.

The Vice-President and Minister of Health and Child Care (Dr Constantino Chiwenga), in his capacity as the Chair of the Enhanced Cabinet Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management, will present the preliminary report on this matter, for the information and decision of Cabinet,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said the country needs to redouble its efforts towards guaranteeing adequate electricity supply to all sectors of the economy in order to sustain the momentum of economic recovery and growth.

He said ministries should present before Cabinet how they have advanced towards regional integration during the first quarter of 2022 line with the last Cabinet meeting which was held in December.

“International co-operation agreements will also require attention as we take our engagement and re-engagement programme to new levels.

Our Foreign Missions are expected to work tirelessly to advance our economic diplomacy, including through the identification of niche markets for our diverse range of exports,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the country should advance and safeguard national interests as the continent enters the second year of operationalising the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Article Source: The Chronicle

Enjoyed this post? Share it!