Covid-19 detours key projects

18 Oct, 2020 - 00:10 0 Views
Covid-19 detours key projects One of the roads the Government is working on

The Sunday Mail

Lincoln Towindo

Chief Reporter

Government projects that were being implemented under the Fifth 100-Day Cycle of the ongoing Rapid Results Programme were seriously affected by the twin forces of the coronavirus and lagging effects of climate change.

However, President Mnangagwa says despite the challenges, “Government is committed to pursuing sustainable strategies designed to improve livelihoods of its citizens”.

A new report from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) on the implementation of the projects revealed that most of them performed below expectations owing to the Covid-19-induced lockdown.

The report showed that only 22 projects (24 percent) out of the 89 earmarked for implementation met their target.

A further 20 projects (22,5 percent) were below target but within the agreed range of performance.

The rest were below target and outside the range of agreed performance levels.

The 100-day rapid results model is being used as a tool to achieve targets set under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), which is a key economic blueprint for the achievement of Vision 2030.

Under the programme, all ministers are required to submit to the OPC a minimum of five projects they intend to implement over a 100-day period.

The projects are then monitored by President Mnangagwa via the Electronic Executive Dashboard.

A report is compiled at the end of the cycle.

In his foreword to the latest report, which covers projects in health, education, food security and infrastructure, President Mnangagwa said implementation of most projects were affected by measures taken to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“It is important to underline that the Fifth 100-Day Cycle, herein reported on, unfortunately encountered constraining circumstances; the major drawback being the devastating calamity of the coronavirus,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Two months into the cycle, a time when project implementation would be at its peak, Government declared a National State of Disaster, which subsequently led to an unprecedented national lockdown.”

Government, he said, was forced to divert its efforts towards combating, managing and fighting the spread of the highly contagious and deadly virus.

“An assessment of performance of the Fifth 100-Day Cycle projects indicates that only a disproportionate number of projects met their set targets, while the majority were adversely affected by measures taken to contain the spread of the pandemic.

“The calamity came at a time when the country was on its path to recovery from both a capricious economic situation and the effects of climate change, characterised by droughts and cyclones.

“This was also the critical time when the country had entered its final lap in the implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018-2020), whose lifespan expires at the end of the year 2020.

“Despite the challenges, Government is committed to pursuing sustainable strategies designed to improve livelihoods of its citizens,” said the President.

The 100-Day Cycle programmes, he added, remain a fundamental cog in planning, implementing and measuring the efficacy, sustainability, impact and aptness of national priority projects and programmes.

The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo, said budgetary constraints also affected programme implementation.

“Due to Covid-19 as well as the limited budget capacity characterised by price escalations and fuel shortages among others, the cycle recorded a decrease in the number of completed projects and those that met their set targets.

“Out of the eighty-nine (89) projects, twenty-two (22) projects (24,7 percent) closed the cycle in the green category, which depicts that the target was met.

“The cycle ended with twenty (20) projects (22,5 percent) below target but within agreed range of performance and 47 projects (52,8 percent) below target and outside the range of agreed performance levels.”

The report says that the Fifth 100-Day Cycle recorded the lowest performance mark since the introduction of the programme as it was affected by the lockdown.

Implementation of the programmes is tied to six pillars of the TSP — infrastructure and utilities; social development; inclusive growth; financial re-engagement; governance; and the cross-cutting pillar.

Twenty-three programmes were submitted under the infrastructure and utilities pillar and only seven were on target, while three were below target and the rest were outside the acceptable range of deviation.

Under social development pillar, 28 programmes were submitted, with six being on target at the end of the cycle.

Nine were within acceptable range of implementation and the rest were off target.

Nine projects were submitted under the inclusive growth pillar and only one was on target.

For the financial re-engagement pillar, only one project was on target while the rest were outside of acceptable range of deviation.

All the eight projects submitted under the governance pillar were not on target.

Under the cross-cutting pillar, 17 projects were submitted with seven of them on target, three were below target while the rest were off target.

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