The Public Finance Management System Expansion project is now on the home stretch. The expansion of the current PFMS is part of a raft of public finance reforms under the umbrella Public Finance Management Enhancement Project (PFMEP). The Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) is spearheading the reforms with support from its Development Partners under Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund. The project has accelerated several activities of the PFMS expansion project after the relaxation of the Covid 19 induced lockdown declared in March 2020. Other activities have also been running concurrently to compensate for the valuable time lost during the lockdown period.

Various project activities continue to gain momentum because of availed virtual communication platforms and remote connectivity to the Public Finance Management System (PFMS). The devastating effects of the Covid 19 pandemic seem to be relenting and slowing down much to the advantage of the PFMEP project. Both new infections and deaths from the pandemic are on a satisfactory downward trajectory. Resultantly, the Government of Zimbabwe continues to ease lockdown regulations allowing project members to execute project activities unabated. This is some great news for the PFMEP as the deadline draws nearer by each passing day. It is interesting to note that activities that require travelling and physical interaction have benefited the most from the aforementioned relaxation of Covid 19 induced lockdown and the relief coming with the containment and pushing back of the deadly pandemic. 

It is worthwhile to note the following key project activities that have gained momentum and been accomplished after the relaxation of Covid 19 induced lockdown and the subsequent gradual opening of previously closed work spaces:

  • The Training of Super Users for the Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), Business Intelligence (BI) and Web Portal. This critical knowledge transferring process commenced on the 27th of October 2020. The major emphasis is to equip the super users to be able to impart knowledge to all end users across all government entities and to all Kiosk (district) level users. The 16th of November 2020 is the set Go Live date for these new functionalities.
  • The delivery and installation of all equipment for Phase 2 and phase 3 of Kiosks implementations by the service provider Africom. The service provider has delivered equipment that include desks, computers and printers for the remaining forty-two (42) district kiosks. This is a great achievement for the project as this entails accessibility of the PFMS system across the breath and lengthy of Zimbabwe.
  • Government of Zimbabwe teams have also been following the heels of the Africom teams doing the installations to conduct operational acceptance of the installed equipment at the said kiosks. This is a critical process meant to ensure that installed equipment conforms to the set requirements and specifications of the Zimbabwean Government. Progress in the operational acceptance is satisfactory and completion is set for mid-November 2020.
  • Usage of the completed ZIMRA Interface continues to rise as it continues to increase with each passing day.
  • Implementation work on the RBZ/PFMS Interface is now at an advanced stage. This involves building an information exchange platform between RBZ and the PFMS system. This project activity stands at 86% completion.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, it is imperative to note that the project is nearing its completion date. The project team remains committed to complete all outstanding activities before the 31 December 2020 project closure date. The team has commendably accelerated project activities to recover all time lost during the Covid 19 pandemic induced lockdowns. Activities initially curtailed and subdued by the lockdown have recorded commendable progress in the period under review. Training of new functionalities has been successful while the operationalization of remaining district kiosks is now at an advanced stage. The Government of Zimbabwe and its donor partners have remained focused on delivering the project despite a plethora of daunting challenges. The project team from Government of Zimbabwe and all service providers has also remained resolute and committed at a time when their counterparts were on a Covid 19 provided sabbatical.

 

Date: 26 October 2020

                                                    News Release                                                                      

The Government of Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Zimbabwe’s healthcare system through its Economic and Social Development Plan. It will extend Grant Aid of approximately US$ 3.8 million for the provision of medical and hospital equipment to support the country’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Notes to formalise this assistance were signed and exchanged today between the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Honourable Professor Mthuli Ncube, and the Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, H.E. Mr Toshiyuki Iwado.

 The high-quality life-saving equipment provided to the Ministry of Health and Child Care will include items such as the latest Japanese-made digital X-ray systems, bedside monitors, defibrillators, electrocardiograms, blood gas analysers, laryngoscopes, and suction units, as well as hospital beds, emergency carts, autoclaves, wheelchairs and IV stands. It will be installed at 4 central and 8 provincial hospitals where the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is currently implementing the “Quality Improvement of Health Services through the 5S-Kaizen-TQM Approach” project to improve the quality of healthcare and hospital management.

This equipment complements additional medical and hospital equipment to be provided to Sally Mugabe Children’s Hospital through Grant Aid of US$ 2.7 million, signed in January this year. This equipment for Sally Mugabe Children’s Hospital will include, among others, X-ray systems, bedside ICU and CCU monitors, an ultrasound scope, emergency ventilators, operation and examination equipment, as well as beds, cots, and operation and examination tables.

It is expected that these two grants for essential equipment will enable the recipient hospitals to have increased capacities to treat patients with COVID-19 as well as other conditions, and thereby improving healthcare system in Zimbabwe in the long term. The achievement of an improved health care system will contribute to Zimbabwe’s National COVID-19 Response Plan, as well as realise Japan’s pledge to promote Universal Health Coverage in Africa made at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) last August.

Speaking at the signing, the Hon. Prof M. Ncube said that “The pandemic has placed unprecedented pressure on economic activities, as well as, impacting negatively on the livelihoods of vulnerable people (women, youths, informal sector) in both urban and rural areas. The support from the Government of Japan will assist in assuring a healthy nation that can withstand the effects of the COVID -19 pandemic.” In his statement the Hon Minister acknowledged the support from Government of Japan. He further indicated that on its part, the Government of Zimbabwe has come up with mitigatory interventions covering both prevention and support to productive sectors in order to save lives and livelihoods, as well as support of production in order to limit deeper damage to the economy, to which support amounting to ZWL$4.5 billion has been availed towards Capacity building of health staff (training); Procurement of health and laboratory equipment including the consumables; Procurement of Personnel Protective equipment; Rehabilitation and construction of isolation units; Drilling of boreholes by DDF; and Production of Person Protective Equipment, especially face masks and sanitizers by local Universities.

H.E. Mr Iwado said that “Through the new equipment, as well as the improved hospital management by means of the 5S-Kaizen-TQM project, I sincerely hope that the standard of health service delivery at the hospitals will be much higher for as many patients as possible and for many years to come. In this regard, it is essential for the equipment to be used and maintained with the utmost care, and I would like to strongly urge the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure this with the sound and effective functioning of the healthcare and medical systems.”

Japan believes that for Zimbabwe to achieve further development in a sustainable manner, the strengthening of the health sector and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage is vitally important. For this reason, Japan remains committed to supporting the Government of Zimbabwe in improving the country’s healthcare system.

 

For more information, please contact:

Ministry of Health and Child Care: Victor Nyamandi, Director Tel:           

Embassy of Japan in Zimbabwe: Oliver Wales-Smith, Economic Cooperation Assistant, Tel: (0242) 250025/6/7; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

2021 NATIONAL BUDGET CONSULTATIONS

The Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development and members of the Expanded Sustainable Development Goals Committee will hold public hearings on the 2021 National Budget Consultations from the 12th to the 16th of October 2020. The teams will cover various places in Zimbabwe as follows:

Team A

Date

Place

Venue

Time

12 October

Mvurwi

Mvurwi Park

1030-1230 hrs

13 October

Chiweshe

Nzvimbo

1030-1230 hrs

14 October

Mt Darwin

Mt Darwin Sports Club

1030-1230 hrs

15 October

Mahusekwa

Marondera Rural District Council

1030-1230 hrs

15 October

St Marys

St Marys’ Hall

1430-1730 hrs

16 October

Mutoko

Nyamakwere Lodge

1030-1230 hrs

Team B

Date

Place

Venue

Time

12 October

Harare

Ambassador Hotel

1030-1230 hrs

12 October

Norton

Pakare Paye Arts Centre

1430-1730 hrs

13 October

Hurungwe

Karoi Junior School

1030-1230 hrs

14 October

Gokwe

Gokwe Business Centre

1030-1230 hrs

15 October

Mberengwa

Mberengwa Education Centre

1030-1230 hrs

16 October

Shurugwi

Chachacha - LID Agency Training Centre

1030-1230 hrs

Team C

Date

Place

Venue

Time

12 October

Bulawayo

Selbourne Hotel

1030-1230 hrs

13 October

Hwange

Hwange Colliery Club

1030-1230 hrs

14 October

Inyathi

Tatazela Hall

1030-1230 hrs

15 October

Plumtree

Plumtree TMB Hall

1030-1230 hrs

16 October

Colleen Bawn

Colleen Bawn Community Hall

1030-1230 hrs

Team D

Date

Place

Venue

Time

12 October

Chimanimani

Nedziwa - UMC

1030-1230 hrs

13 October

Buhera

Murambinda- B.S.P.Z.

1030-1230 hrs

14 October

Zimunya

Chiefs Hall, 22 Miles

1030-1230 hrs

15 October

Chiredzi

Chitsinga Hall

1030-1230 hrs

16 October

Mwenezi

Neshuro Council Board Room

1030-1230 hrs

16 October

Chivi

Chivi RDC

1430-1730 hrs

Virtual Hearings

Date

Radio Station/ Venue

Time

13 October

Diamond FM

1900-2000 hrs

14 October

Power FM

1900-2000 hrs

15 October

Khulumani FM

1900-2000 hrs

15 October

Hevoi FM

1900-2000 hrs

 

ALL THOSE WHO WILL BE PUTTING ON MILITARY UNIFORMS, SIGNS OF RANKS, FLAGS OR BADGES AND POLITICAL PARTY REGALIA WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC HEARING.

The public hearings will at all times comply with the Ministry of Health and Child Care COVID 19 Regulations as outlined in Statutory Instruments 99 and 110 regarding the observing of social distancing, sanitization, temperature screening and wearing of facial masks.

  1. a) Only 100 participants will be allowed at any one time,
  2. b) Where more than 100 participants want to attend, they will only be allowed in groups that comply with the requirements,
  3. c) All participants must be wearing facial masks,
  4. d) Appropriate social distancing will be observed.

ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE URGED TO OBSERVE THESE REQUIREMENTS WHICH WILL BE MONITORED BY THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE TEAMS.

The public, interested groups and organizations are invited to attend these consultations.

Written submissions and correspondences are welcome and should be addressed to:

The Clerk of Parliament

Attention: Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development

P.O. Box CY 298

Causeway

Harare

Submissions can also be made by email through email addresses:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Telephone: (04) 700181-8, 252936-49

Chiwoniso Mataruka (Principal Committee Clerk) Ext. 2062

Sibonisiwe Dube-Nkala (Public Relations Officer) Ext. 2316

Fax: (04)252935

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Facebook: Parliament of Zimbabwe:   https://www.facebook.com/parliamentofzim/

Twitter: @ParliamentZim

Instagram: Parliament of Zimbabwe

 

Acting Accountant General Meets senior Finance Management Team

 

The Acting Accountant General (AAG)’s online Indaba with Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) senior finance management team held on the 16th of September 2020 was a resounding success. The primary objective of the online workshop was the AAG’s update on the Public Finance Management Enhancement Project (PFMEP).  PFMEP encompasses a raft of Public Sector Finance Management Reforms that seek to transform the management of the public purse in Zimbabwe. Government of Zimbabwe is implementing the project with support from Donor partners. The entire project includes the expansion of GoZ’s current accounting system, migration to a new chart of accounts, strengthening of internal controls and reporting, strengthening external auditing, improving the oversight role of Parliament in public finances and facilitation of effective project management and monitoring. The virtual rendezvous of the Finance supremoes included attendance by Finance Directors from all Line Ministries, Constitutional and statutory bodies as well as heads of Government Internal Audit Teams.

 

The timing of the update workshop was mostly suitable given the disruptions exerted on PFMEP activities by Covid 19 induced lockdowns in the preceding months. In his keynote address, the Acting Accountant General reiterated “the need to embrace the innovations coming with the (PFMEP)”. The innovations are necessary in increasing accountability and transparency as well as improving decision making on matters pertaining to public finances. The AAG also underscored how the PFMEP dovetails with the Zimbabwean Government’s devolution agenda. For example, the decentralization of financial transacting to districts, local authorities, Statutory and retention funds through the PFMEP falls in the realm of Government’s vision to cascade and localize governance. As a matter of fact, the AAG emphasized the critical role that the senior finance management team is expected to play in ensuring that the public finance management reforms take root in Zimbabwe. They are the custodians of financial management in all their respective government entities and they lead large management and operational teams. Resultantly, the success of the PFMEP hugely depends on their leadership and willingness to embrace the reforms.

 

It is worthwhile to note the following key PFMEP milestones that the project has been working from the AAG’s update:

 

  • The implementation of a cocktail of robust additional functionalities to the accounting system used by the Government of Zimbabwe; the Public Finance Management System (PFMS). These functionalities aim to augment planning, budgeting and reporting on public finances.
  • Decentralization of the PFMS to districts, local authorities and statutory & retention funds.
  • Creation of interfaces between the PFMS and accounting systems of other key government entities like ZIMRA and RBZ.
  • Migration activities to a new Chart of Accounts to enhance internal control systems and reporting
  • Adoption activities of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to ensure compliance by December 2025.
  • Activities to strengthen the office of the Auditor Genera (OAG)
  • Activities to improve the role of Parliament in Public Finance Management
  • Project Management and Motoring Activities

 

Despite any noted setbacks for the PFMEP and the delays in key project activities by   the global Covid 19 pandemic, it is imperative to note key success stories from the AAG’s Update .The notable accomplishments for the project include the following:

 

  • The completion of configuration activities on the additional functionalities on the PFMS. Most of the new modules are ready for User Training and are ready to be rolled out by the project deadline of 31 December 2020.
  • The successful completion of interfaces between the PFMS and external systems from key government entities. A key example is the interface with ZIMRA.
  • Completion of PFMS decentralization to twenty one (21) district kiosks and forty five (45)statutory funds
  • Delivery completion of all equipment for the remaining forty- one (41) district kiosks. Installations are already underway
  • Completion of Data Centre installation for the PFMS Production Server in Harare and the Disaster Recovery Server in Bulawayo.
  • Migration to the new Chart of Accounts for all line ministries, some local authorities and retention funds. The migration process is still ongoing for the remaining local authorities and statutory funds.
  • The creation of a standard asset register
  • Comprehensive capacity building and professionalization of the public sector accountant. Seventy seven (77) Officers have already been certified in pilot Online ICAZ Certification.
  • The timely tabling of the 2018 External Audit Report by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG)
  • Capacity Building for Auditors from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and for Private Firms
  • Successful Performance Audits for two (2) State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and two (2) Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs)
  • Development of a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Training Manual
  • Successful Publication of citizens budget in the last two years (2019 and 2020)
  • Support for pre-budget and post-budget consultative meetings conducted by Parliament. 
  • Procurement of Project equipment. For example, procurement of equipment for the two (2) data centres and all district kiosks
  • Procurement of various consultancy services.

 

Conclusion

 

In Conclusion, it is imperative to note that the PFMEP seeks to reform public finance management in Zimbabwe. The online Workshop conducted by the Acting Accountant General sought to provide insights into the status of this transformative project. The success of this large Information Technology (IT) project largely depends on Government of Zimbabwe’s willingness to harness its benefits. As such, the senior finance management team is a vital cog in the PFMEP implementation. They are responsible for all financial Management in their entities. It is therefore incumbent upon them to exhibit leadership traits that entice their followers to see the good that the PFMEP is bringing. The project has been faced with many daunting challenges. Chief among the challenges has been the outbreak of the Covid 19 Pandemic outbreak that halted project activities for a period close to six (6) months. However, it is encouraging to note that the project is back on its tracks and that many activities have resumed in the last two months. The project teams too, appear very much geared and energized to deliver the project by the deadline of 31 December 2020. There has also been a commendable and visible support and leadership role from senior management in the Government of Zimbabwe. The donor partners who are partnering the Government of Zimbabwe in the delivering of the project have also remained steadfast in key sponsorship and support initiatives.