No room for complacency in Cabinet, says President . . . as he cracks whip on slackening ministers

President Mnangagwa addresses the 2023 last Cabinet meeting at State House in Harare yesterday

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday cracked the whip on slackening ministers as he charged his troops to keep shoulders on the wheel towards the attainment of the nation’s Vision and aspirations.

He said even as the country breaks for the festive season, Cabinet ministers are expected to be ready to render services where need arises.

Yesterday, President Mnangagwa chaired the last Cabinet session of this calendar year, but even with the spirit of festivities in the air, he said ministries should remain open to render services to the people, who overwhelmingly voted for Zanu PF in the August elections.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga follows proceedings during the last Cabinet meeting at State House in Harare yesterday.

“In 2023, it was displeasing that some items were not discussed due to non-submission of the relevant Cabinet Memoranda, this was, in spite of having been proposed for consideration by ministers. Such oversights or dereliction of duty should not be repeated in the coming year.

“Another critical area of concern is the increasing tendency by some ministers to table substantive matters under “Any Other Business”. This practice must stop. Equally, the late submission of Cabinet Memoranda is retrogressive to constructive debate and to good administration, transparency, collective responsibility and accountability. Please adequately liaise with the Chief Secretary on such matters and be guided accordingly.”

In this regard, the President, who has adopted a scientific approach to governance which is underlined by performance-based contracts for ministers to foster a high-performance culture, said ministers must self-evaluate.

“Be advised that, going forward, you are called upon to regularly undertake critical and succinct self-evaluation of programmes and projects under your portfolios, to inform focused and coordinated programming.

“The expectations on us to deliver are high after the new mandate to govern bestowed on us by the electorate in the August 2023 Harmonised General Elections. We must not be found wanting in this regard,” he said.

In line with this thrust the President said ministers must take the Christmas break to seriously look into matters which they wish to table during the forthcoming session, which should be aligned with the broad Government Vision.

Building on achievements made by the Second Republic, which have seen the country’s economy growing, at the fastest rate in the region, the President said work is cut out for Cabinet ministers and that there is no room for complacency under his watch.

“While much work lies ahead; we must continuously do more in our quest to modernise, industrialise and grow our economy while improving the quality of life for our people. 

“The growth of the economy notwithstanding, all ministries must work harder for the achievement of impactful results in our various programmes and projects.

“As such, the Cabinet must now accelerate the implementation of National Development Strategy 1 so that our National Vision 2030 of an empowered and prosperous upper-middle income society is attained much earlier. Your work is therefore cut out for you.

“Hence, Cabinet recess does not mean that we close our offices completely, Government business must not be disrupted and your availability to attend to issues, remains integral,” the President said.

Cabinet Ministers follow proceedings during the last Cabinet meeting at State House in Harare yesterday.

Although the country went for elections mid-year there were no hiccups in Government operations, attesting to the Second Republic spirit of continuity, and that is the same spirit expected during the holiday break.

“This is testimony that our country continues to entrench constitutionalism, deepen democratic practices and improve bureaucratic efficiencies as we march forward towards Vision 2030 guided by our development philosophy, “Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatigwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo,” the President said.

Following Zanu PF’s triumph in the August harmonised elections, expectations from the people are high and the Second Republic will maintain the development momentum that was overwhelmingly endorsed by the nation through the vote.

“In terms of the specific Cabinet programmes, I am reasonably satisfied that we were able to go through most items set for this session. We should be able to conclude outstanding matters as soon as we resume.

“Meanwhile, it is heartening to note that we completed all the Mid-Term Reports on the Third 100-Day Cycle Priority Projects, despite the changes in the nomenclature of various ministerial portfolios. This shows the continuity inherent in Government programming under the Second Republic.”

Herald

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