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Performance contracts for Zimbabwean ministers

by Staff reporter
04 Feb 2022 at 05:33hrs | Views
Performance contracts signed last year by permanent secretaries, the top level in the civil service, are being extended this year upwards to ministers and across to the heads of local authorities, State-owned enterprises and State universities.

The results from this larger group will be made public in line with the Second Republic's thrust to promote a culture of accountability and improve service delivery to the nation.

Last year, Government introduced annual performance contracts for all 21 permanent secretaries in line ministries and the new system is now extended to the top echelon of State service, along with a promise to let the public know exactly who exceeded their contractual expectations, and who fell short.

The ministers and the senior civil servants are expected to sign their contacts next week.

"To foster a high-performance culture across the entire public sector, the Government of Zimbabwe, this year, has introduced performance contracts under the Integrated Results-Based Management System, continuing with all permanent secretaries, but adding all Cabinet ministers, all CEOs of local authorities, all CEOs of State-owned enterprises and all vice chancellors of universities," reads a statement from the Office of the President and Cabinet yesterday.

Tax-payers had to know how their money was being used.

"It is in our interests to know exactly where our taxes are going towards the development of our country. Civil servants are there to serve us and deliver on the promises made by His Excellency President Dr ED Mnangagwa when he came into power, committing to a goal of making Zimbabwe a prosperous and empowered, upper-middle income society by 2030," reads part of the statement.

The move to make the senior officials sign performance contracts would be guided by the nation's economic blueprint, National Development Strategy 1 and the results would be announced, with clear indications of those who exceeded their targets and those who did not.

Their evaluations will be undertaken after 12 months and the results will be made public.

The officials will be evaluated on delivery, efficacy, management and implementation.

In his address during the signing ceremony by permanent secretaries last year, President Mnangagwa said the move was meant to produce a results-focused leadership.

"This system is envisaged to result in robust public sector institutions and a leadership that is results focused.

"As I have said, the Second Republic is about action and results and all our activities should be streamlined accordingly to make positive and lasting impacts for the growth of our economy and overall improved quality of life for our people," he said.

The Constitution also obligates the State to adopt and implement policies and legislation to develop efficiency, competence, accountability, transparency and personal integrity, among other virtues, at every level of Government.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana, yesterday said results on the performance of permanent secretaries would be published next week, on the same day when ministers and heads of parastatals sign their contracts.

"In 2021, Government introduced performance contracts for Perm Secs. Twenty-one of us signed same before HE (President Mnangagwa).

"The results are to be announced next week on the 10th. On that same day, ministers and heads of parastatals and Government agencies will also sign performance contracts before the President," tweeted Mr Mangwana.

Economist Mr Persistence Gwanyanya told The Herald that the implementation of a Results Based Management System through introduction of performance contracts for ministers, CEOs of local authorities and State-owned enterprises, as well as vice chancellors of State universities "is one of the best decisions made by the Executive so far".

"Public officers have a duty to serve the taxpayers, who pay their salaries. More importantly, those who occupy key positions in the public service sector should deliver expected results and contribute meaningfully towards Vision 2030.

"Those who are not fit for purpose should be gotten rid of. The new measure simply tells us that underperformers have no space in the New Dispensation. This is a break away from the past where mediocrity was rewarded, which is commendable.

"Traditionally, there has not been a culture of servant leadership in Government. Top Government officials have always viewed themselves as super human beings and expect to be served rather than to serve. Clearly, the culture is changing and there shall be victims," said Mr Gwanyanya.

Pan African Chamber of Commerce board member Mr Langton Mabhanga said: "When vision meets measured performance, quality results are inevitable. Such is the importance that President Mnangagwa has invested in ensuring unsparing execution of Vision 2030 and NDS1.

"It's the best New Year deal that the President has delivered to the nation. This also demonstrates the President's servant leadership as he thrives to bestow dignity of an upper middle income status upon Zimbabwe."

Economist and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Mr Chris Mugaga said the initiative was "great".

"It will definitely inculcate a performance culture, in the process improving profitability (of SOEs). But the process must be as apolitical as possible to achieve intended objectives.

"Maybe, we also need to guard against repetition of the process creating administrative bureaucracy (because) if the permanent secretary has been reviewed, it means we are reviewing the PS (permanent secretary's) office on areas including SOEs performance; those SOEs which fall under them.

"So SOE bosses must be reviewed by their boards. It's the boards which might require to be reviewed by the permanent secretary or the Office of the President and Cabinet," said Mr Mugaga.

Source - The Herald