Zim: Sectional Interests and Democratic Survival – Part – 3

Zim: Sectional Interests and Democratic Survival – Part – 3

THE NEW STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT .. . Final Installment

The final step in our idea of building the new politically efficient governmental structure for Zimbabwe is the complete rethinking of the roles of cabinet and ministries in central government. We appreciate that this would probably require some amendments to be made to the constitution but this is an idea, therefore all areas are up for discussion and revision. Furthermore we have had 35 years of the current process and things are not getting better. A large part of the same deck of Minsters has been reshuffled in the last 15+ years so what really is the point.

Our proposition is that firstly Zimbabwe revert to a President and Prime Minister set up with the removal of the numerous Vice Presidents. Instead there is a Deputy PM who one of the members of the cabinet and no deputy President.

The diagram below and the following table describe a situation where Cabinet is formed of less than 15 members, most of whom are supporting large portfolios or multiple portfolios. Ministers are reduced in rank to act as managing directors, responsible for discrete areas within larger portfolio. The objective being that ministers must perform and deliver, or at least be able to provide plausible reasons as to why they can not perform their duties.

 

Proposal for a totally new government structure

Proposal for a totally new government structure

 

The advantage of the proposition above is that, there will be no redundant or spare posts everyone who is there needs to be there is working and each Secretary of State will be accountable for the ministers under their portfolio.

Furthermore by splitting the Presidium into a Prime Minister and a President there is less scope for the current abuse of position that we are witnessing in 2016.

ROLETERM & RESPONSIBILITIESCONDITIONS
PRESIDENTAppointed by election every 10 years
- Sets the national strategic direction of travel for the country
- No deputy, new elections must be held if they die in post
- Answers to parliament
- Can be removed by a no-confidence vote in parliament
PRIME MINISTERAppointed by general election every 4 -5 years (limited to 3 terms) from the ruling party or as decided in the event of a hung parliament or coalition.
- Deputy will be one of the Secretarys of State except Defence or Interior (too much concentration of power)
- Answers to Parliament and the President
- Can be removed by a no-confidence vote in parliament or cabinet or the President
STATE GOVERNORAppointed by election every 4-5 years (limited to 2 terms)
- Sets the state strategic direction of travel
- Ensures central government frameworks and policies are implemented
- Answers to President, Prime Minister and Parliament
- Can be removed by a no-confidence vote in parliament or state legislature
- Access to low cost personal loans that can be used to purchase ministerial vehicles
- Vehicle maintenance / Service / insurance subsidised by the state
- Ministers encouraged to use pool cars rather than designated vehicles and must account for each trip in a state vehicle
- Tuition support for state schools and universities only
- Medical aid in state hospitals - Business trips are economy class on scheduled flights unless over 5 hrs when they can be bumped to Business class
- Encouraged to travel by road and rail where possible
SECRETARY OF STATEAre cabinet level appointments
- Must be sitting members of parliament
- Appointed by the PM
- Approved by the President
- Provides strategic direction of ministries from a political perspective
MINISTERSAre sitting Members of Parliament
- Appointed by the Secretary of State
- Approved by the Prime Minister
- Day to day running of ministry working with Permanent Secretary

A new code of ministerial and parliamentary code of conduct should also be implemented and rigorously enforced, to prevent the current levels of abuse that we are seeing. However that is for another discourse. Suffice to say, some of the ideas here have merit and others maybe not so much, but in the search for ways to bring our country back from the abyss she has descended into we should look at all the options from the seemingly benign to the outright ludicrous, because the right answer is surely somewhere in there.

What must be accepted and is the point made at the beginning, is that the current incumbents like a stick of gum that has had all the sweetness taken out of it, do not appear have the wherewithal required to implement changes as radical as these. Too many have had their snouts in the trough for way to long to be able to see what the possibilities are if they tried. Many of the new positions and roles would be best handled by politicians who are technocratic in outlook and of the current crop how may are there? Perhaps there is a place for those in the diaspora to come back and use what they know to make Zimbabwe what she should be?

Please feel feel free to add or make comment on the points raised in these papers. Only through discourse can we build a stronger plan.