THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Inclusive government - Index of articles

  • Prime Minster's address to Parliament
    Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
    December 01, 2009

    Address by The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, the Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai, to the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe

    Mr. Speaker Sir, Honourable Members of Parliament,

    I am humbled to stand before you today.

    As is customary, the President opened the second session of the seventh Parliament, and gave an indication of some of the items on the Government's agenda during this session of parliament.

    It is my responsibility to now present to you the Government Work Programme for the fiscal year 2010. This forms the basis of the Budget that the Honourable Minister of Finance will present to this House tomorrow.

    As you know, I am responsible for both policy formulation and for policy implementation by the inclusive Government. I would like therefore to speak not only about the priorities themselves, but also about how we will strive to ensure that these are achieved.

    Parliament has a major role in this task, as an independent but close partner of the Executive.

    I am immensely proud of the work done by this House over the past year under very trying circumstances. I acknowledge that under the current budgetary system you are not receiving the financial remuneration necessary to carry out fully your mandate from the people.

    I am aware that you Mr. Speaker have received a proposal from the Welfare Committee representing MPs and Government will ensure that this issue and the non-payment of sitting and other allowances, receives the attention they deserve within our constrained economic environment.

    Members of Parliament, we thank you for your patience and patriotism.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the workers of our nation who keep the wheels of our economy turning, in particular the civil servants.

    Mr. Speaker Sir, this august House must continue to fulfil its role of holding our Government to account. No persons in Zimbabwe should consider themselves, nor act, above scrutiny or accountability.

    As the leader of Government business in Parliament, I will strive to make Government accountable.

    The people of Zimbabwe rightly expect you, their representatives, to investigate, question and challenge their Government.

    It is essential that this House to becomes a vibrant force for democracy and accountability in Zimbabwe, such that all public officials recognise Parliament's ability and determination to investigate them.

    Every public official - whether a Minister, a policeman or a civil servant - who has broken the law, acted corruptly or simply incompetently - must respect the supremacy of this House.

    I myself stand ready to be challenged or questioned by Parliament at any time. And I expect, and will direct, all of our Ministers to do the same. I welcome the opportunity to regularly attend Prime Minister's Question Time when this House reconvenes in the New Year.

    It is in this context of openness and transparency that I am presenting to you today the Government Work Programme for 2010. As I said earlier, the Government Work Programme forms the basis of the Budget that the Honourable Minister of Finance will present to you tomorrow.

    I wish to acknowledge the skill, commitment and dedication of all Ministers who have been involved in overseeing the country's economic recovery.

    As Government, we support the drive to instil budgetary discipline within Government and moves to introduce greater accountability and fiscal rigour amongst all Ministries.

    The Government Work Programme and the Budget statement should be read together in order for the House and our citizens to appreciate what we are committing ourselves to do in the coming 12 months in terms of both government objectives and priorities.

    Mr. Speaker Sir, let me begin with the five key priorities of my Government. We started a process last March at the Ministerial Retreat in Victoria Falls to identify our key priorities and to set targets to achieve these. This led to the creation of the 100-day plan, on which I reported in August.

    This was an important new step for Government in Zimbabwe, in which Ministers identified and agreed specific targets for their Ministries, within the overall context of the needs of the country. It was an important first step in making the Government more accountable.

    We have since taken forward this work within the Council of Ministers, and agreed in early September a number of Priorities and Objectives, copies of which will be lodged with this House.

    These five priorities are:

    • Promote Economic Growth and Ensure Food Security
    • Guarantee Basic Services and Infrastructural Development
    • Strengthen & Ensure the Rule of Law and Respect for Property Rights
    • Advance and Safeguard Basic Freedoms
    • Re-establish International Relations

    Under each of these priorities are a number of specific objectives, which we have committed ourselves to address.

    Already, in line with our first priority, this Government has put in place an agricultural inputs scheme to benefit communal farmers with the kind assistance of NGOs and international donors.

    Over the past two months, we have also turned these Government priorities and objectives into measurable targets, to which we will commit ourselves as a government. Learning lessons from the past ten months, the Ministries have been working with my office to produce targets that will meet the following criteria:

    They will reflect all the Inclusive Government's priorities, including, for example, the commitments contained in the Global Political Agreement;

    The targets will be SMART - that is, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound; and These SMART targets flow naturally from the objectives, which in turn flow from the five priorities I just outlined.

    Together, these priorities, objectives and targets form the basis of the Government's Work Programme.

    The challenge will be to ensure that the Government delivers on these targets. Of course, that is primarily my challenge, in my role of overseeing implementation of Government policy.

    This is the core responsibility of the Council of Ministers: to track the performance of Ministries against the targets that have been set, to identify problems as they arise, and to find solutions.

    But I look to this House to play an important role here too, by tracking and questioning Ministries on their performance. Where Ministries underperform, they should be held to account.

    If State resources are misallocated, misspent or misappropriated, those responsible should be brought to book by this House. In this you will have my full support.

    The Government Work Program, informed by the key five priorities, will then form the basis for the Legislative Agenda, which, after it has been approved by Council of Ministers and Cabinet, I will present to this House, early in the New Year.

    In line with the legislation outlined by the President in his opening address, such as the Human Rights Commission and ICT Bills and amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act, Labour Laws and Public Service Act, we shall be introducing legislation in keeping with Government's priorities and our commitments under the GPA.

    Throughout these processes, the oversight role of this House is essential.

    Mr. Speaker Sir, improving accountability is a key part of the GPA, the implementation of which is currently the subject of negotiations by the parties involved in negotiations, guided by the SADC Troika resolutions of November 5 this year.

    I wish to acknowledge the continued involvement of SADC as the guarantors of the GPA and for standing by the people of Zimbabwe in ensuring that the Global Political Agreement is implemented in full.

    In particular, the role of South Africa as the facilitator of the dialogue process is most appreciated and we are thankful that that country continues to be seized by the Zimbabwean situation, dedicating resources as well as persons of experience and substance to assist all the parties in reaching common ground for the good of the nation.

    I thank the negotiators from all three political parties for once again entering into a process of dialogue to find a solution to the political obstacles we face and find agreement in the mechanism that will ensure the full implementation of the GPA.

    I do believe that with a concerted joint effort, those of us who want to see this country return to prosperity and dignity will prevail.

    The two foundations on which we will build this change are good management and real accountability.

    As the elected representatives of the Zimbabwe people, we look forward to creating a partnership with you, in which we can deliver on their aspirations and their expectations.

    I see this partnership as a combination of "push" and "pull": with me pushing and you pulling the Government at all levels. Together we can ensure that there is a step-change in both the performance and the integrity of Government in Zimbabwe, at all levels, in the interests of the people we serve.

    Mr. Speaker Sir, in addition to the weighty responsibilities of oversight, legislation and representation, this House has a central role in the Constitution-making process.

    I commend the work done to date under difficult circumstances and am heartened that your outreach programme will begin soon.

    In conjunction with the sensitisation programmes conducted by Civil Society, the work of Parliament in facilitating all Zimbabweans the right to write their own constitution will ensure the legacy of this august House for generations to come.

    Mr. Speaker Sir, it leaves me only to thank you once again for this opportunity to address you today.

    I thank the Honourable Members for the support you have shown to the people of Zimbabwe in representing their interests, advocating for their rights and introducing legislation that represents their wishes for a new Zimbabwe.

    I also acknowledge the work of Civil Society, the Churches and Trade Unions as we strive together to deliver real change to the people of this great nation.

    I salute the courage, commitment to peace, and patriotism of the people and pledge that this Government will continue to put their welfare above all other considerations.

    Mr, Speaker Sir, I once again commend the Members of this House for their dedication to serving the interests of all Zimbabweans and I know that, by working together, 2010 will see major progress towards the Zimbabwe that our people demand and deserve.

    I thank you.

    Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.