Government has gazetted the Zimbabwe Manpower Planning and Development Amendment Bill which removes Higher Education minister as the responsible authority to manage the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZimDef) and replaces him with a board.
This comes after the ZimDef allegedly lost about US$245 000 to former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo who claimed he channelled the funds towards Zanu PF’s activities.
The Amendment Bill, which was approved by Cabinet early this year, also seeks to make the Act consistent with the constitutional provisions dealing with gender balance, transparency and accountability in financial matters and accountability of all institutions and agencies of government to Parliament.
The Amendment Bill further indicates that the ZimDef shall be used to develop skilled manpower and professions and support the creation of new knowledge, research, innovation, science, technological and engineering solutions and business enterprises.
“In order to give effect to the object of the Fund (ZimDef) described in section 47(2), the board may, do any or all of the following; employ such persons as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act; administer the Fund and monitor the use of grants made to the Fund to ensure adherence to the purposes for which the fund is disbursed; meet the expenses of promoting and mobilising support for research, innovation and technological or engineering solutions and business enterprise.
“As soon as possible after the end of each financial year, the Board shall cause a statement of accounts to be prepared for the Fund in respect of that financial year or in respect of such other period as the minister may direct, and shall cause the statement to be submitted to the Minister,” read part of the gazette.
The Bill also provides for the transfer of persons employed in tertiary institutions from the Public Service to the Tertiary Education Service Council established by the Bill.
“Subject to this Act and any other enactment, the functions of the Council or its delegated authorities, shall be to appoint persons to technical or vocational institution and teacher’s colleges to, whether as permanent members or on contract or otherwise, to assign and promote them to offices, posts and grades and to fix their conditions of service, to inquire into and deal with complaints made by members, to exercise disciplinary powers in relation to members and to formulate, develop and implement measures and policies,” read the gazette.
The gazette further indicated that the Council’s function will also be to encourage dialogue between the government, and the institutions of technical or vocational institutions and teacher’s colleges and to implement government policy on any matter relating to tertiary education.
“The Tertiary Education Service Council shall establish a fund to be known as an amenities fund, subject to such terms and conditions as it may prescribe, for every government teachers college, technical or vocational institution, for the purpose of furthering cultural or recreational activities or facilities for students attending the college or institution,” read the gazette.