Zimbabwe seeks to improve public finance skills

10 Sep 18

Zimbabwe’s civil servants need new skills to improve how they deliver services and ensure value for money, the country’s finance minister has said.

In a column for local news site Bulawayo24, finance minister Mthuli Ncube said that in Zimbabwe, as in other African countries, service delivery “tends to be poor”.

He said civil servants need new skills to “cultivate a culture of effective service delivery” and has proposed that retired senior civil servants are seconded to Zimbabwe from other countries.

The effort to improve skills would initally focus on senior managers in the national civil service and municipal and local authority managers, Ncube said.

“[The] Zimbabwe Treasury should require that the managers should have these necessary resource management and service delivery skills, for accountability on financial resources that it provides,” the finance minister said.

“All this would impact service delivery positively in the public sector and enhance the value for money objective.”

He added that the government could also seek help from other countries.

“We could also approach a government such as the UK or South Korea and seek retired senior civil servants for secondments to mentor Zimbabwe senior public managers, including at the Zimbabwe Treasury.

“These international secondees would spend a year or so and be funded through grant assistance from their home governments.”

He also called for public funds to be managed with integrity, transparency and accountability for effective service delivery, sustainable growth and development.

“Above all the ‘value for money’ principle should be a guiding force” he added.

The government in Zimbabwe is “effectively bankrupt” and the economy “has been stripped for jobs”, ODI research fellow Judith Tyson told PF International earlier this year, after Robert Mugabe resigned as president.

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