Phillimon Mhlanga in VICTORIA FALLS
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has indicated that government is seriously considering taking chartered accountants registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) to boards of public entities as part of efforts to strengthen loss-making state-owned enterprises.
Zimbabwe has more than 100 public entities, with most of them undermining economic recovery through perennial dependence on the fiscus. The State entities grapple with high overheads, mal-administration, corruption and lack of good corporate governance. Consequently, they have failed to contribute to Zimbabwe’s economic development.
In a speech read on his behalf by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Friday night at the ICAZ centenary congress in the resort town of Victoria Falls, Mngangagwa said government needed to migrate from the current state of ineffectiveness and lack of skill which characterises many State companies boards to one in which integrity, professionalism and a culture of serving the entity and the nation prevails over the current tendency of serving oneself. He said the move will result Zimbabwe attracting the much needed investment.
ICAZ’s total membership of professional accountants stands at 2 236. He said although more than 70 percent of ICAZ members sit on company boards in Zimbabwe, there was a thin representation on the boards of State-owned entities.
“I am made to understand that although 73,6 percent of the board members in Zimbabwe are ICAZ members , there are very few of them sitting on State-owned enterprises.
Government will seriously consider (ICAZ members) so that we can strengthen our State-owned enterprises. The need for good corporate governance practices cannot be over-emphasised. Transparency, accountability, compliance and robust internal control systems are the hallmark of good corporate governance,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa added: “An organisation with good governance practices enjoys the governance dividend. At national level, the governance dividend will help attract investment (domestic and international), international lines of credit and other support which our great nation clearly needs at this moment. Ultimately, this will result in sustainable development, access to quality healthcare, education facilities, and infrastructure and rewarding formal jobs for our youths.”