The government could have got the short end of the stick in its mega deals in mining and other sectors, as representatives sent to negotiate the deals had little bargaining power when faced with a barrage of technocrats and lawyers from the other side, a senior official in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has revealed.
By Tatenda Chitagu/Elias Mambo
Presenting a paper at a United Nations media workshop on development reporting at Troutbeck Inn yesterday, Anderson Chiraya, the director of implementation, monitoring and evaluation in the OPC, said the country could have got a raw deal from such partnerships, as it sent lean teams to the negotiation table.
“During negotiating for such deals, some partners came with a barrage of lawyers, while on our part, there may be a minister and the permanent secretary only and if they do not understand, we get a raw deal. Yet the other parties come with lawyers and people that are well versed,” he said.
Asked what the government would do about it, Chiraya said: “We are really correcting that. Next time if there is a deal to be negotiated for, there should be some lawyers, including the Attorney-General as well as experts in that field.”
He also bemoaned the lack of value addition.
“We understand what value addition is, but we are not using our intellectual capability as Zimbabweans for value addition. Sometimes our priorities are skewed, but we are trying by all means necessary to overcome that hurdle,” Chiraya said.
“Sometimes we have resources, but it is all about poor allocation of such resources. Sometimes the resources are allocated to areas that are not needy.”
The OPC is the lead agency in the implementation of developmental programmes.
It ensures there is efficacy in policy implementation and formulation and provides leadership and oversight role in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public sector policies, programmes and projects.
The department also supervises the implementation of all government policies and programmes by various ministries and co-ordinates policy formulation.
The OPC also provides leadership and guidance in the implementation modality and overall policy direction and supervision to all government ministries and agencies.