HARARE – Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development minister, Nicholas Goche emerged as the worst performing minister in the inclusive government for the 2011 year, according to the rating of government ministers by the Daily News.
Out of a rating of 10 points, Goche scored zero owing to his failure to come up with rescue measures for parastatals such as Air Zimbabwe, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz), and Net One, among others.
Actually Goche stands accused of presiding over the collapse of these organisations. He has failed to say a word on the collapse of Air Zimbabwe and is actually accused of being behind the demise of the airline. In one year the divided Air Zimbabwe board met only once despite the crisis.
Goche was also in the news for the wrong reasons, wrestling mandates meant for Information and Communication Technology minister, Nelson Chamisa under the guise that the mandates fall under his ministry.
The most embarrassing of all was the chaos that characterised Air Zimbabwe where the parastatal was for the better part of the year locked up in a salary wrangle with its workers.
The national airline was briefly suspended by the International Air Travel Association (Iata) for failure to pay subscription fees to the organisation. An Air Zimbabwe plane was also briefly confiscated following the company’s failure to settle debts to a London-based spare parts company.
In other countries, such a feat would have seen Goche resign or get himself sacked by the president of the republic. But in Zimbabwe, the story was different as the President does not fire ministers for incompetence.
Below is the rating of other cabinet ministers.
The rating is out of 10. Goche is the only minister on zero marks. In today’s newspaper, we publish the performances of half of the ministers. Don’t miss tomorrow’s Daily News as it will bring you the best performing minister in 2011.
THE WORST: Nicholas Goche, Minister of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development.
Heneri Dzinotyiwei, Minister of Science and Technology Development
Like Olivia Muchena, Dzinotyiwei has largely enjoyed the comfort of his ministerial Mercedes Benz as well as office while doing little on the ground. He has largely been an invisible and quiet minister, virtually unknown to the people. The minister needs, in the New Year, to come up with policies that will make him known by the citizenry of the country.
Stan Mudenge, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.
Another absolute failure!
Mudenge, who is said to be facing serious health problems, clung onto his post despite his condition. Mudenge failed to come to the rescue of students at institutions of higher learning who were faced with accommodation problems.
Some of the students turned to prostitution as a way of either securing accommodation or simply trying to make ends meet. The University of Zimbabwe’s residential halls were shut down for the better part of the year. Students cried out for bailout programmes but Mudenge would have none of it.
The tertiary education sector was in serious abyss and Mudenge failed to come to its rescue. Most students cannot afford fees and university education is now for those who can afford not those who deserve.
Tapiwa Mashakada, Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion
The review team observed that despite the toughness of his portfolio and the fact that Mashakada’s ministry depends on policies such as the fiscal policy by the Minister of Finance Tendai Biti as well as the monetary policy by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Gideon Gono, he has tried to come up with his own ministry’s blueprints, which made sense to business players and were seen as likely to spur economic growth.
His efforts were however destroyed by Mugabe and Zanu PF’s insistence on the 51 percent local empowerment drive.
Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment
Despite the controversial nature of the indigenisation policies that Kasukuwere is championing with the blessings of President Robert Mugabe, the minister was seen as a hardworking minister despite the wrongness of the policies.
The general view of the review team was that Kasukuwere, despite the chaos caused by the indigenisation policy and approach, had tried to push for the empowerment of the people who live in areas where the resources are found.
He, however, fell short on points after it emerged that most of those said to have been empowered were Zanu PF functionaries.
Olivia Nyembesi Muchena, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender, and Community Development
Highly invisible and inactive. She reportedly diverted funds meant for some women’s projects to Zanu PF activities. She was only visible at mainly Zanu PF functions.
Welshman Ncube, Minister of Industry and Commerce
While very little has been done in the ministry, Ncube managed to land himself the credit of seeing the signing of the Ziscosteel/ Essar deal which brought life back to the otherwise sleepy town of Redcliff.
Some jobs have been created as a result of this deal. The minister now needs to concentrate on policy formulation for the revival of industry in general in the country.
However, Ncube spent time concentrating on the onslaught against the private media, especially the Daily News and the minister is better advised to stop this misguided attack on the private media. However, despite this, he still scored better marks than many ministers.
Tendai Biti, Minister of Finance
While Biti got kudos for his budget and other tough measures, the review team felt the minister now needs to develop a pro-poor budget and pro poor policies that do not affect the work of cross-border traders who earn a living through such activities.
Biti’s budget, which re-introduced duty on basic commodities, seems to sound sweet in the ears of some industry players who are largely Zanu PF sympathisers while the poor, who have tried to find cheap products outside the country’s borders, are feeling the pinch of duty on the basic commodities.
He has also caused suffering at borders by removing rebates on even one pair of shoes.
Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone, Co-Home Affairs minister
Rating: 1 (point each)
Mohadi asserted himself as the minister of home affairs while Makone appeared satisfied with being Mohadi’s “deputy”. Both ministers need to deal decisively with the corruption that has manifested itself in the police force and put a stop to this obscene act. They must also deal with human rights abuses by the police.
The ministers need to improve the living conditions of the police as well as addressing salary concerns raised by the law enforcement agents. They must also improve conditions of service for the police so that the cops earn respect in society. They must also instruct their police to investigate then arrest not arrest to investigate.
Henry Madzorera, Minister of Health and Child Welfare
Efforts to revive the health sector through the promulgation of sound policies earned Madzorera six points from the review team. Service provision at major hospitals seems to have improved although Madzorera now needs to keep check on the service provision at private hospitals which are said to be charging exorbitant prices for services.
Bonding of nurses has also been an issue the ministry has to put a stop to as it affects the nursing students who would have completed their studies.
Ignatius Chombo, Local Government, Rural and Urban Development
The minister was in the news for his crackdown on urban councils and interfering in the operations of the local authorities. He fired several MDC councillors and suspended some, with the downstream effects of his actions being the collapse of service delivery.
The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) also collapsed under Chombo’s ambit. Better policies for the management of local authorities is what Zimbabweans deserve next year minister.
Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
Chinamasa ranks among some of the failed ministers in the country as he could not improve the situation at the country’s prisons until welfare organisations had to intervene.
He failed to adequately represent Zimbabwe at the Universal Peer Review (UPR) where he defended the country’s shocking human rights record. His ministry presides over the draconian Section 121 which is being used to deny Zanu PF opponents bail even on trumped up charges.
Joseph Made, Agriculture
Made failed to lead the revival of the agriculture sector with his flawed agricultural mechanisation policies. The minister suffered further blow when the review team felt he was too arrogant and selfish when dealing with issues concerning the ministry.
He was also dealt another deadly blow by the fact that he seems to spend most of his time at Mugabe’s farms where he reportedly supervises the President’s farming activities.
David Coltart, Minister of Education, Arts, Sport, and Culture
Coltart was voted as having been one of the best ministerial performers for the year after he covered vast ground in developing the education sector. The handover of text books to schools as witnessed during the year and the general revival of the education sector earned Coltart recognition by the review team.
Coltart also played a crucial role in ending Zimbabwean cricket’s Pariah status. He travelled to Australia, New Zealand and Ireland to lobby those countries’ cricket boards to revive ties with Zimbabwe Cricket.
As a result, New Zealand agreed to tour Zimbabwe for a one-off Test match, three ODIs and two Twenty20s, becoming the first team from predominantly English-speaking countries to tour the country in six years.
Both Australia and New Zealand also sent their second-string teams to help Zimbabwe with their Test return preparations. Ireland’s cricket team also visited for an ODI series.
He was also vocal in bringing to light Zimbabwean football’s damaging match-fixing scandal, dubbed the Asiagate. He could have been voted the best had it not been for the poor state of schools especially in the rural areas.
Francis Nhema, Minister of Environment
Nhema made news when he announced a ban on paper bags on the basis that they were a threat to the environment. He was also in the news for his calls for a ban on vehicle imports, especially those vehicles that have been on the road for five years or more.
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe also came under review from the team, with its continued shooting of wildlife for Zanu PF functions denting his performance rating.
The Chivero boat disaster would have been avoided had the Parks officials who fall under his ministry been doing their job. For them to work, it is Nhema who has to push them.
Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Services
Mzembi made history by leading Zimbabwe’s victory in the bid to host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in Victoria Falls in 2013.
This feat was achieved at a time when there were differences in terms of policy pronouncements between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai regarding the indigenisation policy and many other issues.
Courtesy of Mzembi’s guidance and his ministry’s policy formulation, Zimbabwe realised a rise in tourist arrivals in the country, not only from the East but from across the world.
Through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), the ministry managed to lure to the country, internationally acclaimed artists who performed in the country under its personality management programme.
But a word of advice to the minister and ZTA: There is need to manage some of your internal fights and disagreements with your partners such as ZTA internally, especially the issue of models and the outcomes of the tourism pageants. Daily News
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