Will the Gvt Public Construction Division stand out and be counted


by Senior reporter

With the Cabinet now in place, the nation eagerly awaits to see if the personnel leading the various Ministries, State entities and parastatal have the skills mix to match the expectations of the new dispensation.

Like, the call made by Nick Mangwana ahead of the selection of Cabinet for some old timers to voluntarily retire, one would have expected senior Government bureaucrats to have taken heed of the same advice. I hope they have done so.

Kudos goes to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary, George Mlilo, who voluntarily tendered his resignation a few months ago. 

The renewal of leadership in the directorate of most of the Government departments is key to the success in the implementation of the new Government thrust.

A number of Government departments have in the past become idle under the pretext of lack of funding by Government.

With the new dispensation in place, there appears to be more goodwill coming the way of Government. But the million dollar question is: do we have the right skills mix to tap on the new rivers of funding.

For example one Government division that has been on sabbatical leave until recently is the Public Construction Department which falls under the Ministry of Local Government, National Housing and Public Works.

An opportunity has arisen for this division and is it going to grab it or it does not have the capacity to do so. We wait to see in the coming weeks. The Sunday Mail issue of 9 September 2018 published a tender by UNICEF Zimbabwe calling for the construction of piped water schemes in yet to be named districts.

In part, the tender advert read: “UNICEF Zimbabwe invites sealed bids from private, public or government-owned legal entity or any association, including a joint venture or consortium with legal capacity to enter into a legally binding contract with UNICEF for the rehabilitation/construction of piped water schemes in selected districts of Zimbabwe.”

Noteworthy is that in the past Government entities have been excluded in such funding by foreign international agencies.

Will the Public Construction Division stand out and compete with the private sector.

Additionally, following the outbreak of cholera and typhoid where Government and private partners are teaming up to come up with a permanent solution, what opportunities is the Public Construction Division envisioning or its just on sleeping mode.

The re-awakening of such Government departments to be active players in the economy is one important antidote the Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube needs before even thinking of phasing out the bond notes.