President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday gave the new ministers a week to come up with priority projects and quick- win measures to improve the livelihoods of Zimbabweans. Cde Mnangagwa who was chairing his first Cabinet meeting, told the new ministers who were sworn in on Monday that they should get down to business and set priority projects that have a visible impact on the ground.
Cde Mnangagwa said Ministers should “think outside the box” and pursue “high speed programme execution”. He said as he emphasised in his inauguration speech, there was a need for everyone in Government to hit the ground running.
“I now wish to challenge you to think outside the box and come up with quick-win projects for implementation by each of your ministries in order to achieve the goals of my vision,” said Cde Mnangagwa.
The new Cabinet has a very big challenge to prove the prophets of doom wrong. Many have already dismissed the new ministers as “dead wood” that lacks the capacity to deliver given that some of them were in the former president, Cde Robert Mugabe’s Government.
The onus is therefore on each and every minister to deliver and shame the negative critics. It is the ministers who give policy direction to those under them and supervise the implementation of Government programmes.
The ministers therefore, are the ones to blame in the event of failure in the implementation of the programmes. The ministers, as already alluded to, play a very critical role in the governance matrix and as such should be men and women of integrity. There is no reason for us to doubt that Cde Mnangagwa selected the best brains from a pool of MPs at his disposal and even cast his net wider to appoint a few outside Parliament in a bid to come up with a winning team.
The new dispensation, as rightly noted by Cde Mnangagwa, has generated high expectations among citizens, development partners and other stakeholders.
Cde Mnangagwa has already warned civil servants that it is no longer business as usual so they have to roll up their sleeves if they are to meet the new demands of their services.
It is our fervent hope that this new crop of ministers who are supposed to closely supervise the implementation of Government projects and programmes, will not bunk Parliament as was common in the previous Government. It is in Parliament where important issues to do with governance are tabled for debate and the nation needs constant updates on progress in implementing Government projects and programmes.
Now that we have a Government Chief Whip, Cde Simbarashe Mumbengwegwi whose responsibility is to monitor Government programmes, those ministers that fail to deliver to expectations should be warned and in the event of them failing to improve, Cde Mnangagwa should not hesitate to fire them. Government cannot afford to be let down by incompetent ministers.