Call to amend Zimdef Act

Source: Call to amend Zimdef Act | The Herald February 28, 2017

Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
There is need to amend the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) to rationalise the powers which the Act confers on the minister, legislators have said. The legislators in Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology said the powers conferred on the Minister with regards to Zimdef were excessive and prone to abuse.

Speaking after a fact-finding mission and a tour of Zimdef projects at Harare Polytechnic, chairperson of the portfolio committee Mr Peter Mataruse (MDC-T) said although they were satisfied by the projects being initiated by Zimdef, it was prudent for the Permanent Secretary Ambassador Machivenyika Mapuranga to be involved on such a tour to answer questions when anomalies of the misappropriation of funds were being raised.

He said it was unfortunate that Ambassador Mapuranga tended to side line himself from the activities of Zimdef when he should be responsible and be involved as he is the accounting officer.

Mr Mataruse said his involvement will monitor time lines, deadlines and funds injected on projects and infrastructures being put on the ground.

“As a committee, we feel that the Act that governs Zimdef needs to be modified,” he said.

“The Act gives too much power to the minister. He can do anything with the Act and the funds. The permanent secretary should be actively involved and as we speak, he seems not to be involved in the day-to-day running of Zimdef funds.

“Anomalies are created if the management of Zimdef is handed over to an individual who is not mandated to run the institution. Remember, politicians are taken from the streets just to represent the will of the people and are not supposed to be the accounting officers.”

The sentiments by the committee chairperson comes after Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa were subjected to investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission over allegations that they abused $450 000 from Zimdef.

They have since mounted a constitutional application with the Constitutional Court for the determination of whether or not ZAAC has arresting powers.

The committee also toured Zimdef projects at Chinhoyi University of Science and Technology, Kwekwe Polytechnic and in Bulawayo.

Mr Mataruse said although Zimdef was making strides in improving the education infrastructure, the committee was concerned with half-baked professionals who were being churned out for industry to employ.

“Industry is not performing at the moment and it seems there is a poor link between industry and institutions of higher learning,” he said.

“We are satisfied with the projects being funded by Zimdef as all institutions dealing with manpower development are being assisted.”

Commenting on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative, Mr Mataruse said it was good, but needed perfection so that it becomes functional.

Zimdef chief executive Mr Fredrick Mandizvidza said Zimdef had been able to support learning institutions with state-of-the-art laboratories, libraries and financing of all apprenticeship programmes, as well as procurement of equipment in the automotive learning industry.

He said they injected $7 million in the STEM initiative in 2016 and this year they would inject another of $5 million.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 5 years ago

    Modify the Zimdef Act to legally stemitize looting of the FUND!!