Harare - Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday, said he would appoint a "lean" cabinet as he works towards putting together a functional government to rebuild the country's comatose economy.
He met with all ministry permanent secretaries and said he was in the process of stitching together a new government structure, “which should essentially be leaner”.
“This, of course, will entail the merging of some line ministries in order to remove functional duplications as well as contain unnecessary expenditures, so as to enhance productivity and efficient delivery of service. I want to assure you that no one will be laid off, except those who have reached retirement age,” Mnangagwa said.
“Those whose ministerial posts will be abolished will be re-skilled and reassigned to other areas in the public service.I am sure you will appreciate that the rebuilding of our national economy and improvement of the livelihoods of all our citizens is both urgent and imperative. Our people have endured economic hardships for over two decades, and now expect this new government to turn things around, with the shortest time possible.”
Mnangagwa said the prime focus should be on the implementation of practical solutions to grow the economy, create jobs and boost people’s incomes.
“My government will have no tolerance for bureaucratic slothfulness, which is quick to brandish procedures as an excuse for stalling service delivery to citizens, investors and other stakeholders. Our mantra should be peak performance, peak performance and peak performance.”
On Monday, he appointed a two-member interim cabinet comprising acting finance and economic development minister Patrick Chinamasa and acting foreign affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi saying it was meant to allow for uninterrupted service in critical government ministries
The new President, who was sworn in on Friday November 24, earlier Tuesday had given a moratorium to individuals and companies that had “illegally externalised funds and assets” to bring those back.
“As a first step towards the recovery of the illegally externalised funds and assets, the Government of Zimbabwe is gazetting a three-month moratorium within which those involved in the malpractice can bring back the assets and assets, with no questions being asked or charges preferred against them,” Mnangagwa said.
The amnesty period would be from December 1 to February 28, 2018. He said affected persons who wished to comply with the directive were supposed to liaise with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for “necessary facilitation and accounting”.
“Upon the expiry of the three-month window, government will proceed to effect arrest of all those who would not have complied with this directive, and will ensure that they are prosecuted in terms of the country’s laws.”