Way to go Tsvangirai — civil society

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Civil society groups in Zimbabwe have commended Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for reshuffling ministers from his MDC political party saying the move strengthens the performance of the inclusive government.
The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) said, while it welcomed Tsvangirai’s moves, the inclusive government should constantly carry out extensive audits of the performance of all ministries regardless of political party lines and structures.
The organisation said such an audit should be made public as a way of promoting transparency and accountability in government.
“Nango welcomes the government’s move to strengthen the performance of its various ministries through reshuffling of various cabinet ministers,” Nango said in a statement.
“Indeed, it must be recognised that government officials are here to serve the citizenry and that all government officials should be held accountable for their performance in office.”
Nango is the umbrella body of all non-governmental organisations operating in Zimbabwe.
Last week, Tsvangirai announced a shock reshuffle of his ministers in the inclusive government in which he dismissed two Cabinet ministers and two deputies.
He said the move followed a performance appraisal he did during the 16 months his party had been in the coalition government with Zanu PF and the smaller faction of the MDC.
Those who fell by the wayside include MDC-T stalwarts Elias Mudzuri and Fidelis Mhashu. Evelyn Masaiti and Thamsanga Mahlangu.
The reshuffle, while it may have ruffled feathers within the MDC-T, has been welcomed by Zimbabweans, who felt it would keep office bearers on their toes.
Nango said the inclusive government should now take greater moves to ensure it was accountable to the people.
“Initiating accountability means that the government must make a commitment to respond to and balance the needs of all citizens in its decision – making processes and activities, and deliver against this commitment,” Nango said.
The NGO umbrella body said the inclusive government must ensure the reformation of government must not be merely a cosmetic change but a process that should bring positive change to the lives of all Zimbabweans.
“Citizens must have access to information (such as the performance the various ministries) that empowers them to make more informed decisions,” Nango said.
“Without access to public information and transparent practices from the government, citizens cannot monitor aspects such as the effectiveness of various ministries, public spending, and public procurement.”