PUBLIC Works minister Joel Gabbuza told Parliament on Monday there had been unnecessary duplication of ministries to accommodate political parties in the Government of National Unity (GNU).
Report by Veneranda Langa
Gabbuza said the situation had resulted in encroachment into his ministry’s responsibilities by other ministries which did not have the technical knowhow to deal with certain projects.
He was appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works and National Housing chaired by Mutasa North MP David Chimhini to speak on progress made in construction projects in the country.
The minister accused ministries of National Housing and Social Amenities, Transport and Infrastructural Development and Local Government, Urban and Rural Development for encroaching into his ministry.
“While the ministry’s mandate is clearly defined, unfortunately there are other government departments and ministries doing similar work (which is) enough to cause confusion and stretch the limited resources available,” Gabbuza said.
“Encroachment of mandates is a political problem and the background of having all those ministries was to try and accommodate everyone in the GNU,” he said.
He told the committee the result was that some ministries had embarked on building projects and purchased wrong materials.
“For example, there is the National Housing and Social Amenities ministry which is responsible for the Heroes’ Acre and the National Sports Stadium. They are also putting up schools. The Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry also has a component of construction and that is (obvious) duplication (of services),” he said.
Gabbuza added: “There is reluctance by some client ministries duplicating our mandate of designing and constructing public buildings, to engage the Ministry of Public Works at the onset of each project. As a result, the regulatory role of the ministry is currently poorly implemented and enforced.”
The Public Works ministry was established after the formation of the GNU in 2009. Initially, it was under the purview of former ministries of Public Construction and National Housing and Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development.