President urges ministers to prioritise Cabinet business

President Mnangagwa jokes with journalists on his way to the first 2024 Cabinet meeting at State House in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Innocent Makawa

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has called on Cabinet Ministers to prioritise Cabinet over everything else and implement policies, programmes and projects that will catapult Zimbabwe to greater economic development, growth and prosperity.

Addressing the first Cabinet sitting of the year at State House in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said a lackadaisical approach to Cabinet business would not be tolerated.

He charged ministers to instead remain focused and united, pursuant to delivering for the people of Zimbabwe.

“We must remain focused and united towards fulfilling our duties with utmost diligence and integrity.

“In the last session, I noticed an unbecoming trend where some members prioritise ministerial activities and neglect Cabinet business. This must stop forthwith.

“Cabinet business takes precedence over all other matters and attendance of Cabinet meetings is compulsory.

“Lastly, I wish you all great success as we implement policies, programmes and projects that will catapult our people and nation to greater economic development, growth, prosperity and higher quality of life,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said all unfinished business from last year’s session should be conclusively decided during the first quarter of this year.

Ministers were issued with circulars outlining priority areas for their respective ministries.

“Regarding the specific Cabinet programme for this year, all outstanding items must be expeditiously tabled and conclusively decided during this first quarter.

“Following the call for items for this year’s Cabinet Calendar, the Chief Secretary has issued the subsequent circular outlining the 2024 Cabinet Programme. These constitute priority areas for your respective ministries,” President Mnangagwa said.

He outlined housekeeping rules to be adhered to during this year’s Cabinet sittings.

“Memoranda outlining your proposals for consideration by Cabinet should be submitted on time. Delays in that respect are unacceptable.

“As a matter of procedure, Cabinet Memoranda or proposals must be submitted to the Cabinet Office for circulation by 1000 hours on the Tuesday preceding the next Cabinet sitting, or earlier, if the matter requires prior consideration by a Working Party.

“Let me once again state that issues requiring thorough consideration must be submitted as substantive items on the agenda and never under ‘Any Other Business’.

“Further, members are reminded that Standing Cabinet Committees are a critical cog of the Cabinet and must be accorded due prioritisation. I direct that all committees be active to expedite decision-making,” he said.

The implementation of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), said President Mnangagwa, should be a priority area.

He said all bureaucratic hurdles and silo mindsets which hinder its implementation must be removed.

“In addition, bureaucratic hurdles and silo mindsets, which hinder its implementation, must be removed while seamless processes should be nurtured to ensure that its coordination architecture is observed.

“In particular, meetings of the NDS-Steering committees and Thematic Working Groups must be represented at the proper levels. These must meet often and generate the requisite reports which show that stakeholder perspectives, including the private sector and development partners, are taken on board, prior to presentation to Cabinet.”

President Mnangagwa said engagements with the general citizenry were important as their input, support and expertise are invaluable.

“Citizens are the primary beneficiaries of our efforts, and open lines of communication with them should be maintained, including through active Thematic Working Group discussions.

“Their input, support and expertise are invaluable in driving sustainable development and ensuring the success of our initiatives.

“Reports of Thematic Working Groups should form a major part of Cabinet business as we accelerate the implementation of the National Development Strategy,” he said.

The Head of State and Government directed ministers to restrict their invitations to him to officiate at their events, to strictly high priority occasions.

“As we begin our programmes for the year in earnest, all invitations for me to officiate at the various events of your ministries must be extended on time and restricted to high priority events,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said he would also be apprised on the 2023/2024 agricultural season during yesterday’s Cabinet sitting.

“The 2023-2024 summer cropping season is now mid-way. At this meeting, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development will be updating us on the status of the agricultural season,” he said.

Herald

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