Expectations from perm secs outline Told to complement each other with Ministers
LINE Ministers and Permanent Secretaries should complement each other in their work to realise the upper middle income economy envisioned by President Mnangagwa by 2030, the Public Service Commission has said.
Following the appointment of Cabinet Ministers, President Mnangagwa two weeks ago appointed new permanent secretaries for almost all ministries paving way for serious Government business in the Second Republic.
Speaking during an induction workshop for permanent secretaries and senior officials in Harare yesterday, PSC deputy chair Ambassador Margaret Muchada said as accounting officers, permanent secretaries should work in harmony with their line ministers.
She said ministers were political heads and permanent secretaries should respect that and focus on implementing policy decisions as directed by their ministers.
“On the culture in the ministry, you have to earn the trust of your minister,” she said.
“The minister has to know and understand that he can not do things without your last word because if he trusts your judgment and trusts your knowhow, he will know that even if he was working with his junior or whatever, at the end of the day he comes to you and ensure that you
environment and aggressive fight against corruption were key to the success of the Second Republic.
Dr Sibanda said Vision 2030 was anchored on five key pillars.
The first pillar, Dr Sibanda said, was the governance pillar. “Focus is on carrying out governance reforms necessary for laying a solid foundation for sustainable economic take off set out as follows:
*The enunciation of a positive foreign policy hinged on engagement and re-engagement with the global community.
*Investment promotion and creation of a One Stop Shop Investment Centre through accelerated ease of doing business reforms, improved political and economic governance,” he said.
The second pillar relates to inclusive economic are working on the same path. You cannot afford to be reading from two pages in a ministry. The moment you do that you are lost.
“The minister is a political guide. He sets that agenda and you cannot take it away from him but we are saying you are our accounting officer financially and personnel wise and so that mandate you also have to explain to your minister so that the minister understands what your role is, how your role should be performed, where you need his or her assistance to perform your role. So I would like to urge you, this is your best assignment, develop that trust. You cannot afford to fight your minister. I remember speaking to a former commissioner who has been a permanent secretary in his own right, the moment I was made a permanent secretary, the advice he gave he said (Ambassador) Muchada one thing I can urge you, do not fight with your minister, you will never win that game. Do not also let ministers fight with junior officers. They (junior officers) are too weak to defend themselves. This is why we are saying the last word should be with you so that if a junior officer has made a mistake you are able to correct it. The junior officers are too weak to defend themselves.”
Ambassador Muchada said it was no longer business as usual and everyone in the civil service should play their part.
She said they were working hard to address issues of duplication of duties in Government
growth focusing on agriculture, land and rural resettlement, mining, industrialisation and manufacturing, financial services, tourism, environment and climate change and targeted value addition and product beneficiation.
Macro-economic stability and financial re-engagement is the third pillar of Vision 2030.
Dr Sibanda said this pillar prioritised creation of requisite fiscal space for rapid economic development, implementation of arrears clearance and debt restructuring programme, development of a robust aid coordination, enhancement of financial inclusion and architecture and restoration of foreign currency stability.
On the fourth pillar, which focuses on social development, Dr Sibanda said: “The focus of this and rationalisation. “Our expectations are high, very high,” she said. “The Government’s trajectory requires that type of a cadre and we come to you with this in mind. We are going to work together to restructure ministries accordingly because as you will realise the mandate has been adjusted somewhat. It is not going to be business as usual.
“We no longer tolerate those officers who just get to the office and leave their coats on the chair. Gone are those days. We will want to know that the cadre is there performing and at the same time we will be hard pushing for computerisation throughout because we would like to see online decision making.”
Ambassador Muchada added: “Devolution depends on online decision making. You can not expect an officer to wait for a decision of a permanent secretary who is on a trip for a week or who is away for two days and let the whole country wait. Some of those functions have to be de-centralised to that level. We have to set that machinery of devolution in motion. We want to be able to do more with less. Through computerised administration we want to do away with silos.”
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda also spoke against “small wars” between permanent secretaries and their line ministers saying that should stop.
He said permanent secretaries should seek to establish good working relations with their political heads.
pillar is on appropriate education and high quality human capital development, high quality health care services, social protection and social safety nets sanitation and waste management services.”
The fifth pillar is the cross cutting enabling pillar which prioritised information, communication, technology, roads and rail infrastructure development and linkage to regional seaports, airport infrastructure development and air connectivity and power and energy infrastructure.
Dr Sibanda said realisation of Vision 2030 had been divided into three phases namely, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (October 2018- December 2020), the First Five Year Development Plan (20212025) and the Second Five Year Development Plan (2026-2030). CABINET Ministers, Members of the House of Assembly and Senators have been ordered to declare all their assets by end of day tomorrow.
In an interview, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, said legislators were expected to submit their declarations for purposes of transparency and accountability.
“As enshrined in Section 198 of the Constitution, holders of public office are expected to make regular declarations of assets. Legislators are expected to declare all their assets within 30 days of being appointed and sworn into office. Declaration forms are expected to be submitted by end of day this Friday 5 0ctober 2018,” said the Minister.
He said the process was in line with the Constitution which has a provision for regular declaration of assets by legislators. Each MP was upon taking oath given a declaration form which they are expected to hand in tomorrow.
“Section 198 of the Constitution which provides for regular disclosure of assets and Standing orders 49 and 48 of the National Assembly and Senate state that every member shall and not may, register all his or her financial interests in a book to be maintained under the direction of the Speaker and president of the Senate. Such registration shall be in a manner specified in the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament. To satisfy those requirements, Parliament came up with the forms of declaration of assets. Legislators are expected to submit their declaration forms within 30 days after taking oath,” said Minister Ziyambi.
He said the process was good as it sought to promote transparency and accountability while ensuring public trust in holders of public office.
Minister Ziyambi said the move was meant to address speculation on how certain bearers of public office amass wealth.
“This is good in two ways. Where a member is elected into Parliament and all of a sudden they acquire wealth that is unexplained, it is easy to go back to the declaration form and say where did you get this wealth. And some may be wrongly accused that they amassed a lot of wealth yet when they became Members of Parliament they already had those assets.
“So this is good in two ways, for the members as well as the generality of the public. It acts as a deterrent for suddenly increasing your wealth yet you declared moderate wealth it will be an indication that something has happened,” he said.
Minister Ziyambi said the move was standard practice and in line with best practices.
“And those that already have wealth, they may be wrongly accused. The public may speculate that you got into Parliament and became rich. However, it will be easy in Parliament to say that no this is what this person declared when he assumed office. So this is a way to control Members of Parliament and also to protect them. So everyone, Minister, MP, Senator, are all expected to declare.
“It is now standard practice in line with corporate governance that we as Cabinet Ministers declare our assets. We are declaring simultaneously with Parliamentarians and Senators,” he said. — @ andile_tshuma