Saturday, September 20, 2008

Office Of Auditor-General

Now that we have a unity govt in Zimbabwe we urgently need to deal with the pertinent issues at hand. I am proposing that the office of Auditor-General be handed over to a foreign national – preferably African – and not be given to a Zimbabwean native. From 1980-90 things worked in Zimbabwe because we had capable administrators from other African countries at the helm of important administrative positions. We had Kenyans, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Guyanese and others handling key administrative posts. We need to do the same thing today.Zimbabwe is just too small a country for an “apolitical” Auditor-General to be chosen from within. The size of the educated elite is small, and of that elite, relationships overlap. In short, it’s a very incestuous situation.

Small countries like Gambia and Sierra Leone have always used skilled administrators from Nigeria and Ghana to man key, administrative positions. Many Zimbabweans have also been asked to man key posts in Gambia. We Zimbabweans need to do the same thing and recruit from Africa’s highly skilled population.The Auditor-General must be independent of Presidential authority and must answer to Parliament only. Parliament itself must have a bi-partisan (Zanu-pf/MDC) Parliamentary Affairs Committee that looks into the affairs of the Auditor-General’s office, and must proceed with public questioning to view the conduct of the Auditor-General.

An outsider manning the Auditor-General’s office will be free of ethnic chauvinism, and will not have to take family relations - and other such nuisances - into consideration when performing his duties. He will be free to pursue the proper running of his office. Moving from underdeveloped to developed status is basically about good governance, and we must bring this culture of good governance into Zimbabwe’s administration.

James Chikonamombe

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