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REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT, HIS EXCELLENCY, CDE. E. D. MNANGAGWA, AT THE FINAL CABINET MEETING OF 2023: STATE HOUSE

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT, HIS EXCELLENCY, CDE. E. D. MNANGAGWA, AT THE FINAL CABINET MEETING OF 2023: STATE HOUSE

12TH DECEMBER, 2023

Honourable Vice Presidents, General (Rtd.) Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga and Colonel (Rtd.) Cde K. C. D. Mohadi;

Honourable Ministers and the Attorney-General;

Chief Secretary, Dr. Martin Rushwaya

Distinguished Members of Cabinet, today’s Meeting is the last for this calendar year. You will recall that following our Party, ZANU PFs resounding victory in the 2023 Harmonised General Elections held in August, we were able to seamlessly continue with the business of Government.

This is testimony that our country continues to entrench constitutionalism, deepen democratic practices and improve bureaucratic efficiencies as we march forward towards Vision 2030 guided by our development philosophy, “Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatigwa nevene vayo. Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo”.

While much work lies ahead; we must continuously do more in our quest to modernize, industrialize and grow our economy while improving the quality of life for our people.

The growth of the economy notwithstanding, all Ministries must work harder for the achievement of impactful results in our various programmes and projects.

As such, Cabinet must now accelerate the implementation of National Development Strategy 1 so that our National Vision 2030 of “an empowered and prosperous upper-middle income society”, is attained much earlier. Your work is therefore, cut out for you.

Hence, Cabinet recess does not mean that we close our offices completely, Government business must not be disrupted and your availability to attend to issues, remain integral.

Meanwhile, I want to assure the nation that Government is closely monitoring the weather, with signs increasingly confirming the El-Nino prediction of a normal to below-normal rainfall season. Government is putting in place the necessary measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the undesirable weather phenomenon.

I, also wish to point out that the overriding principle of the Cabinet system is collective responsibility, which ties in well with the Whole-of-Government, Whole-of-Society Approach and our endeavor to leave no one and no place behind. To this end, we convened the Government High-Level Retreat on 14 September 2023 and thereafter, Induction Sessions for Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, were done.

These platforms have adequately unpacked the key tenets of collective responsibility, mandates and roles as well as my expectations thereto, towards ensuring that Government work is properly coordinated.

Recently, you also shared experiences with colleagues from the United Arab Emirates, as part of strengthening our administrative apparatus.

Bench-marking against best practices, we should therefore strive to be robust, agile, responsive and anticipatory in meeting the needs of the people as well as in responding to attendant challenges.

In terms of the specific Cabinet programmes, I am reasonably satisfied that we were able to go through most items set for this session. We should be able to conclude outstanding matters as soon as we resume.

Meanwhile, it is heartening to note that we completed all the Mid-Term Reports on the Third 100-Day Cycle Priority Projects, despite the changes in the nomenclature of various ministerial portfolios. This shows the continuity inherent in Government programming under the Second Republic.

I, however, call upon members to seriously look into matters which they wish to table during the forthcoming session. These should be aligned to the overall thrust I have outlined above.
Further, this exercise is crucial as it ensures that Cabinet discussions are more focused.

The Chief Secretary will soon issue the relevant Circular calling for items you may wish to put on next years Cabinet programme.

In 2023, it was displeasing that some items were not discussed due to non-submission of the relevant Cabinet Memoranda, this was, in spite of having been proposed for consideration by Ministers. Such oversights or dereliction of duty should not be repeated in the coming year.

Another critical area of concern is the increasing tendency by some Ministers to table substantive matters under “Any Other Business”. This practice must stop. Equally, the late submission of Cabinet Memoranda is retrogressive to constructive debate and to good administration, transparency, collective responsibility and accountability. Please adequately liaise with the Chief Secretary on such matters and be guided accordingly.

Be advised that, going forward, you are called upon to regularly undertake critical and succinct self-evaluation of programmes and projects under your portfolios, to inform focused and coordinated programming.

Ladies and Gentlemen;
The expectations on us to deliver are high after the new mandate to govern bestowed on us by the electorate in the August 2023 Harmonized General Elections. We must not be found wanting in this regard.

I also wish to thank the Chief Secretary and the Cabinet Secretariat for coordinating Cabinet exceptionally well, and urge them to continue consistently providing high-quality service.

With these remarks, I wish you all a restful and rejuvenating recess and a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2024.

God bless you all.
God Bless Zimbabwe.
I thank you.

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