By Byron Mutingwende
The idea of making Harare a world-class city is plausible if the municipality maintains its stance of spearheading good corporate governance and business ethics.
The Acting Town Clerk Eng. Hosiah Chisango made the remarks at the End of Term Review Meeting of the City of Harare Rapid Results Initiative held in Harare on 8 August 2018.
The end of term review workshop came at a time when the country has just gone through the harmonised elections on the 30th of July 2018 that will usher in a new Council and a new Government.
“This therefore means that we will have new policy direction which we patiently wait for. The previous government emphasised the need for the public sector to focus on peak performance and we are convinced that this mantra will continue for the development of the country. Peak performance is a major issue that we need to pay attention to as we move this country towards a new trajectory. The City of Harare occupies a strategic position in this country and our performance at the local level has a bearing on the overall performance of Zimbabwe.
“As a local authority we have a mammoth task of ensuring that we transform the way we do business in line with the demands of the new administration. I thought it was critical that I highlight these issues in light of the developments in our country. I am happy to note that we had already braced up for peak performance through the Rapid Results Initiatives we have been implementing,” Eng. Chisango said.
The Acting Town Clerk noted with concern that the culture that has been lacking in Council is the culture of reporting results.
“Sometimes we do very brilliant works and they go unreported and critiques would conclude that we do not perform or deliver. It is my hope that the culture of reporting has been entrenched in our teams. I therefore expect all teams who had not achieved their goals to continue reporting fortnightly to enable us to track progress and make necessary interventions where necessary.
“With the rapid results initiatives we expect dramatic results and a business unusual approach. We have gone through five hundred days and we have had our fair share of successes and not so good results. One key success over the past 500 days is the development of the investment policy and an investment desk in the Office of the Town Clerk that was created as a response to one of the key recommendations in the policy. What is important now is the need to fully align our investment policy with the national guidelines.”
One key result area for the city was the procurement of energy efficient street lighting retrofit material and implementation of the pilot project by 27 July 2018. The project is at 75% of completion and there are plans to expedite the process towards attaining that goal. The other goal was to increase revenue from ZESA from the current $98 626.99 to $2million and to reduce electricity bills from the current $1.9 million to $1.7 million by 27 July 2018. The overall performance in that regard is at 83%.
On resource mobilisation, there was a need to increase revenue collection by 10% (cumulatively $11,307,000 during the 100 days) from 55% to 65% by 26th July 2018. The team is working on identification of key revenues streams that have capacity to increase monthly potential from $23 million to above $25 million.
It was realised that apart from kick-starting the implementation of goals in the city’s strategic plan, RRIs have also promoted teamwork. Cross-departmental coalitions were built as team members were building consensus and motivating each other to implement change and quickly deliver on promised results.
The other goals that were looked at were the review of the master plan; procurement and automation. The review of the master plan is one key milestone of the Rapid results initiatives.
“I am happy that we had the inception conference and it is my fervent hope that the momentum gathered in the review process will be maintained. You are all aware during this period we have been focusing more on the key enablers, which include automation, streamlining procurement processes and resource mobilisation. Some of our officials went through the procurement regulations training and I hope this will help in streamlining procurement processes which has been a major hurdle in the achievement of most of our goals,” Eng Chisango said.