21 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Parastatals Restructuring Still Slow

THE Government's restructuring manual for parastatals, launched last year to deal with incompetence among managerial and technical staff, has failed to achieve "meaningful results", a Cabinet minister has said. Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals Mr Gorden Moyo said yesterday the manual had not been effective, as restructuring was still slow.

"The manual was launched as part of Government policy for effective management of State-owned entities, but the results are disappointing," said Mr Moyo.

"We expected them to be motivated and use the manual to guide them in expediting the restructuring plans. However, there has been bureaucratic bungling and an underutilisation of the State restructuring agency."

He said they had since proposed the setting up of the State Enterprises Advisory Council, made up of all State entities' chief executive officers and senior managers.

"The council will also be used as a platform to discuss at length issues such as commercialisation and restructuring. They will share experiences and issues such as dealing with the inter-parastatal debts," said Mr Moyo.

"Inter-parastatal debt is one of our most serious challenges, ultimately affecting cash flow of most State entities, which in turn affects economic recovery initiatives."

Although Government has approved the restructuring of some State entities, most of them have failed to produce restructuring plans.

Minister Moyo said some did not know where to start due to lack of expertise, which ultimately slowed the restructuring of State enterprises.

Zimbabwe has 78 State entities with the capacity to contribute 40 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. But most of them have been underperforming due to mismanagement and excessive debts.

Poor service delivery has resulted from the underperformance of State entities, with transport, water and electricity sectors being the most affected.

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