Harare – Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to abolish several government ministries which performed duplicated roles, but has promised skilled civil servants that they will not be fired.
This was revealed during an inaugural meeting held between the President and permanent secretaries of all ministries earlier today.
Speaking to the key cogs of government, Mnangagwa told them he was in the process of setting up a new government which is lean.
“I am currently in the process of putting together a new government structure which should essentially be leaner” read part of his address, who minutes were shown to Khuluma Afrika.
According to Mnangagwa, this should remove functional duplications and also contain unnecessary expenditure.
Mnangagwa assured the permanent secretaries that no-one would be laid off except people who had reached retirement age.
Mnangagwa single out the re-building of the economy and the improvement of livelihoods as “urgent and imperative matters”
“Our prime focus should be on the implementation of practical solutions to grow our economy, create jobs and boost incomes” read part of his address.
Mnangagwa warned that his government would not excuse “bureaucratic slothfulness which is quick to brandish procedures as an excuse for stalling service delivery”
“Our mantra should be peak performance, peak performance, peak performance” he added.
Since taking over power, Mnangagwa has introduced a number of measures which have seen people comparing him to Tanzania’s John Magafuli, who implemented several reforms and austerity measures when he come to power, aimed at cutting government expenditure.
He opted out of a trip to Kenya, citing budget constrains and matters of economic importance that needed attention. His current cabinet has two ministers only, one for finance and one for foreign affairs.
He has given criminals who externalised foreign currency and assets a 90 day grace period to return the loot of face the “pain of the long arm of the law”.
The country’s former minister of finance, Ignatius Chombo has already been arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office, and fraud charges amounting to over $3 million USD. He is among other charges accused of using government funds to purchase cars for his step child, former Big Brother Africa contestant Pokello Nare.
Mnangagwa himself has rejected using the 2 tonne concrete reinforced Mercedes Benz used by his predecessor Mugabe, which consumes fuel at a rate of nearly 2 litres per kilometre. He opted instead for an ordinary ML 500.