Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Déjà vu feeling on performance contracts as ED known for “rhetoric”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s performance contracts are likely not to yield results as previous measures to improve public sector governance suffered the same fate, an observer group noted.

Last week, Mnangagwa presided over the signing of performance contracts, the first time in the history of Zimbabwe, by ministers, vice Chancellors, CEOs of Parastatals, government agencies.

Permanent Secretaries signed theirs last year.

The contracts, Mnangagwa said, were to foster a high-performance culture across the civil service through yearly evaluations. Analysis of performance would be done on delivery, efficacy, management and implementation.

Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd), however, noted that this is not the first time Mnangagwa had introduced measures to improve civil service performance.

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While the organisation welcomed the idea, Zimcodd noted that similar measures were introduced by the same government and ended on paper.

“Zimcodd applauds the government of Zim for introducing Performance Contracts for public office bearers as we believe these are one of the key accountability tools for holding duty bearers to account in the discharge of their duties and ultimately improving public sector performance,” the organisation said in a statement.

“However, this is not the first time the government has introduced measures to improve public sector governance.”

Zimcodd noted that on the 19th of March 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa released a list of 1,844 alleged ‘externalisation’ cases implicating mostly corporate organisations and a handful of individuals “but we haven’t really witnessed decisive action being taken against perpetrators.

“In the same year, the President issued an asset declaration order to top officials but citizens are not aware of what happened thereafter. Without full implementation, the Performance Contracts initiative is likely to suffer the same fate.”

Mnangagwa described the signing of performance contracts as an “extraordinary milestone” in the history of public sector management in Zimbabwe.

“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.

“A performance contract is a tool we have opted for as a government. This is a negotiated performance agreement between the government, acting as the owner of an agency and the permanent secretary acting as the management of the agency.

“It specifies what needs to be achieved, expected levels of achievement, timelines and reporting modalities,” Mnangagwa added. Nehanda Radio