POOR succession planning in government and policy inconsistency remain major drawbacks to development in Zimbabwe, a senior government official has said.
By Melody Chikono
The country has been stymied by policy inconsistency resulting in dwindling investment inflows which, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, has plummeted from US$545 million in 2014 to US$319 million last year.
Addressing delegates at the Institute of Bankers of Zimbabwe Summer School in Nyanga this week, Deputy Chief Secretary in the office of the President and Cabinet Ray Ndhlukula said Zimbabwe has a serious challenge when it comes to competiveness and could do better in these areas with good succession planning and policy consistency .
Zimbabwe has been implementing a number of strategies to revive the economy which include ease of doing business reforms and the rapid results initiative.
“The nature of government is such that you move from place to place. So someone may come and say I want this, resulting in a drop of a whole project all together. This can pose a major threat where development is concerned,” he said.
Ndhlukula said in other countries once a project plan is made for the year it is documented so that whoever succeeds the position will have to comply with what is there.
“We need to address that. However we stand guided by ZimAsset. We are addressing that as an office what we have now taken is a whole government approach to address inconsistencies. If u recall we had issues of misinterpretation with the Indigenisation Act which saw us requiring the President to come in and address the issue and correct it,” Ndhlukula said
He said issues of competitiveness also remained a challenge as the county continued to use antiquated machinery resulting in high prices due to high production costs.
“In Zimbabwe we still are using antiquated machinery, some of which was bought in 1965. Take for example Sable Chemicals, it is still using hydrolysis. It is so outdated, we need up to date technology that will make products cheaper,” Ndhlukula said.
He urged government to address these challenges and assist small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to acquire and utilise modern equipment and technology for production, unlike now when they are using antiquated technologies and aging equipment.
Ndhlukula added that government should also continue creating an enabling environment for sustainable mentorship of SMEs in business planning, production, distribution, reporting, effective costing, quality assurance and marketing of products and services.