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Accountability is a key tool of Governance

07 Jan 2019 at 20:38hrs | Views
In the donor community, one of the major requirement is accountability and proper management of resources. In the development world, there is what we call, Monitoring process and evaluation and projects assessment, this is were all tools of Governance are applied to every on-going project before the project is handed over to its owners. In every project there is what we call project identification, project commencement, project implementation, project monitoring and evaluation ( project control), then finally project maturity. When the project is completed before commission, eventually it's important to examine and see what went wrong during the project implementation. Now to put it clear, in every context it is important to the donor community to give a report of what transpired during the project implementation and control. As a nation we are looking for resources so that we achieve 2030 middle class agenda, one of the major requirement is to be accountable for all resources which were mobilised. What normally donors look at is not the project proposals which have lucrative ideas and deals, they look at the history of other projects. For example when you want to do a sanitary project, or Harare City wants to run a water project which costs 219 million ( USD), they look at the history of those running the projects, those in power, they look at the human resource aspect to see whether you hired the right personnel, and also the accountability of other major projects. They go through the M and E of other projects. To make matters worse they go to other donors who sponsored you before and check the records. So to set the record straight, they do checks and balances. They hold every cent accountable. Once you mess around with donors that's the end of it. My point is how many projects did we run as a nation? Where they successful? Were the funds put in good use ? Did the beneficiaries or recipients benefit directly or indirectly from the initiative? A project is a task or problem which must be managed to bring out a solution. So whatever Zimbabwe requests be it from the international community is specifically from a certain task or problem. We have Kunzvi dam project, Zambezi water trust project, we have tollgates, we have ZINARA, we have command Agriculture, we have Chiadzwa diamonds and other key projects running. Those projects are a reflection of what kind of tools we apply in Governance. Noone is spared in the game of Governance.

Presidential dinners

We can have presidential dinners around and splash gifts to the disadvantaged communities, elderly the rightful question would then be how much was raised on the presidential dinner which was raised in honour of Advocate Chamisa on the x mas eve ? What was bought ? How much was put together? How much was raised ? What was bought ? This is were Governance is tested? When you are in opposition, people are watching closely and these are some of the traits that the public monitor and at the same time, the public may remain quiet and it doesn't mean necessarily that they are not aware. One may say that's none of your business. The same question will be raised , why then do you plead for my vote ? The public may judge you harshly in future on such traits. My simple balanced equation is accountability and transparency is key in all institutions. This is what makes political parties loose relevance within a short space of time. These may not be state funds but the fact remains the same, if one is bargaining for higher office, it is important to promote accountability at early stages of democracy.

Command Agriculture

This is a Government project which raised a lot of storm for the past five years or so particularly that it was said to be bankrolled by an individual. Where on earth would one bankroll a wholesome Government?? Alas. How much was spent ? How much was raised ? How much worthy of inputs were bought ? How much was spent ? Duration of the project is key. Time frame , legal and economic frameworks are key in such projects especially if they have public interest. Who will benefit? For how long ? Any declaration of assets ? These are some of the issues which the public may fail to raise but, that's what donors look at. Project scheduling is key.

Con-court funds for Alliance

There was an account set up by a trustee which was meant to raise funds for the Chamisa led party. How much was raised ? To or for who? Any public declaration made ? How much was paid ? Was it positive or successful? Alliance is an institution which must remain clean on Governance matters and make sure whatever they do the public will hold them accountable. This was a trustee set up in the interest of the public and it was key for the same institution to come back to the public to give a full report of what exactly transpired. The public may judge such institutions harshly in future regarding public funds and this may put a dent on leadership contestation

Crowd fund for Cholera

To be quite honest and frank, Cholera was an emergency issue which could not be ignored. Yes alas, a crowd fund account was set up. How much was raised from the trustee? Duration of the project. Was there a public announcement to show that the project has ended? How much was raised ? Was there any left overs ? Any funds from the donor community.

Lack of confidence

One of the major challenge why the Government is struggling to encourage the public to use banking facilities to keep their money safe is lack of confidence. People are not sure of what will happen to their monies in the event that they bank their monies. So to correct this, Government must come up with strategic programmes to ensure there is confidence in the market. Confidence is very important in any Governance aspect. The major problem of our economy is not liquidity, but confidence. Is it possible to do business?

Zimbabwe is open for business

The Zimbabwe is open for business mantra is good but it must be put into practise. We need proper detections in the market to detect financial leakages. I thought Prof. Mthuli Ncube would come up with a project of ensuring that all our port of entry authorities have systems which prevent leakages. Do you know what? Guess what? Government could have recovered something like 2 billion. We have so many firms which are evading taxes and this has the Government to loose a lot of revenue. It depicts the standard of the Government. Zimbabwe is open for business mantra must be accompanied by honesty, transparency and accountability of Government revenue and all other resources. Whilst we are making an effort to re- engage with the international community, it is of paramount importance to go through proper procedures of going through Parliament, disclose the state of our nation, debts must be made public, source of Government revenue and expenditure, whom do we owe? How much? What was it used for?

Debt situation

Do we have a debt plan? I would suggest we must join the accelerate Debt Relief Strategy Plan so that we can attract investors and be admitted into the IMF and World Bank after arrears have been cleared . We need to humble ourselves, we must seek for forgiveness and be allowed into the relief strategy so that we can be re- admitted into the IMF.

Future Projects

We have so many projects hanging mainly because, the contractors either were not paid or were paid on time but they did not do their job properly. From infrastructure development, tourism, mining, roads, ICT, industry and commerce, we have so many of them but some have spend so many years without completion. Our major challenge is corruption and lack of efficiency and effectiveness. We must ensure sanity in all Government projects to ensure success. Future Projects needs strong monitoring and evaluation systems. Control systems are key for any Governance aspect. We must deliver projects on time. We have one major project of road rehabilitation coming ( Beitbridge-Chirundu), this project will cost not less than 1.5 billion. This project is likely to attract investors. Major contractors will be foreigners and locals will be sub- contracted. All eyes are on Zimbabwe on this project. It would be of paramount importance to ensure that this project is done in a smart way. There is need to ensure that youths and women are empowered on this project. Investors will be watching closely on this one and this project will give a honest opinion and reflection on other future assignments.

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as an academic, project consultant, development practitioner and a PhD student at Women's University of Africa ( Doctor of Philosophy Degree ) and can be contacted at tinamuzala@gmail.com

Shipping vehicles from UK to Zimbabwe for less
Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
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