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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
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
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.
a major role in this task, as an independent but close partner of
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.
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
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.
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.
we support the drive to instil budgetary discipline within Government
and moves to introduce greater accountability and fiscal rigour
amongst all Ministries.
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.
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
- Promote Economic
Growth and Ensure Food Security
Basic Services and Infrastructural Development
& Ensure the Rule of Law and Respect for Property Rights
- Advance and
Safeguard Basic Freedoms
Under each of
these priorities are a number of specific objectives, which we have
committed ourselves to address.
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
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.
priorities, objectives and targets form the basis of the Government's
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
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.
processes, the oversight role of this House is essential.
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.
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
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.
Sir, in addition to the weighty responsibilities of oversight, legislation
and representation, this House has a central role in the Constitution-making
I commend the
work done to date under difficult circumstances and am heartened
that your outreach programme will begin soon.
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.
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
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.
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