Government to fast-track parastatal reforms

The government has said it is implementing a comprehensive programme to reform state enterprises and parastatals, with a view to addressing weak governance and other operational and capitalisation related challenges.

Zimbabwe has over 70 state enterprises, most of which are draining the fiscus as a result of underperformance and poor corporate governance practices.

Political interference in the administration of public entities is largely to blame for the state in which most of them are today.

Over the years, the government has come up with measures to reform parastatals, most of which are yet to be fully implemented.

“Therefore, the 2020 budget should fast track the implementation of public enterprise reforms whilst enforcing the provisions and regulations of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act and making the necessary adjustments to all administered prices to ensure cost recovery,” said Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube.

He was presenting the 2020 national budget last Thursday.

“Corporate governance is an obligation for both public entities and the respective parent Ministries. However, cases have been noted where ministries are imposing unwarranted burden upon public enterprises through unjustified requests with a bearing on the entities’ financial positions.”

He said a case in point was a request for contributions towards the hosting of functions, which ordinarily should be financed from the ministry’s budget.

“Parent ministries are, therefore, urged to refrain from imposing avoidable financial burden on our already ailing public entities,” said Ncube.

“Provision of the necessary ministerial leadership in such instances is greatly appreciated to assist the public entities to make their meaningful contribution to the economic growth of Zimbabwe.”

The Finance Minister said meeting current and future challenges required higher degree of workforce competencies.

“This is more so, in the present competitive situation where competent and motivated employees are essential for productivity and economic competitiveness,” he elaborated.

“For competitiveness, a personnel base should be diverse and highly productive. It is, therefore, critical that public human capital development institutions intensify collaboration with the private sector to implement programmes geared towards contemporary skills and competencies essential for increased production and efficient services.”

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