Leonard Ncube–Victoria Falls Reporter
All Zimbabwean professionals must play a part in building the economy through good corporate governance and accountability, President Mnangagwa said yesterday as he reiterated the importance of collaboration in the Second Republic.
Opening the Chartered Governance and Accountancy Institute of Zimbabwe (CGAIZ) conference here yesterday, the President invited more businesses — local and international — to invest in the foreign currency-denominated Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.
The two-day conference, which ended yesterday, marked the 50th anniversary for CGAIZ, formerly Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators since its formation in Zimbabwe in 1971.
In his address, the President stressed the need for all — including professional organisations — to make the required changes to accelerate growth and efficiency, reminding everyone that proper systems would help in ending corruption.
President Mnangagwa said the institute’s 50th celebration came at a time when Zimbabwe was enjoying brighter socio-economic prospects, as he reminded all sectors of the economy that they could also play a part in ensuring that Zimbabwe does not experience Covid-19 induced economic growth slippages.
“I therefore challenge you to effectively play your professional role and provide strategic oversight within your sector, respective organisations and the nation as a whole as we all accelerate national economic development in our beloved country.
“Our national determination and culture of adaptability, to date, is a demonstration that in unity, peace and harmony we can achieve seemingly impossible development targets. Going forward as a profession you are challenged to expand your horizons and take up the weighty responsibility of consolidating on the gains we are making, always informed by the national interest,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the theme of the conference: “Reset, Reignite, Refocus towards Vision 2030: Governance and Accounting Professionals Challenged,” is timely given the centrality of the profession for the prudent planning, use and implementation of the development agenda at both institutional and national levels.
He said sombre experiences encountered due to Covid-19 presented a window to reset collective organisational and national culture, ethics and expectations.
The President said the new culture and work ethic of the Second Republic must give impetus to the governance and accounting professionals to build back better for more resilient companies and institutions.
“This has resulted in the reorganisation of supply chains, setting up of remote operations and implementation of bold financial decisions, among other actions. It also gives us an opportunity to institutionalise heritage-based norms and values that are more balanced, just and equitable as encapsulated in the Ubuntu philosophy.
“As we recover and reignite our respective sectors during the new normal, it is also necessary that emphasis be made on capacity building, improving infrastructure, strengthening the innovation ecosystem and facilitating access to digital connectivity towards increased production and productivity in our economy.
“Through such a paradigm shift and refocus, the governance and accounting professionals are urged to ensure sustainable development, increased production and productivity, efficient use of resources and ultimately durable economic growth and prosperity.
“These are a result of the positive and far reaching impacts of the my Government’s multi-pronged reforms across all sectors leading to the stabilisation of the economy, with budget surpluses over the past two years, notwithstanding the domestic and global challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
The President said some of the hallmarks of his administration include entrenching democracy and constitutionalism as well as upholding the rule of law transparency, and accountability and fighting corruption.
In this context, now is the time for the administration sector to explore and broaden its roles, duties and obligations.
New ways must be found through learning, growing and transforming your organisations and institutions.
“This way, you will undoubtedly help build our country, stone up in stone and brick upon brick towards Visions 2030.
“Emphasis should be on moving forward, with clarity and continued relevance in ever changing national and global realities.
“Let us all play our part if maintaining the upward economic growth trajectory. The new normal demands that we refocus, let’s always be prepared, capitalise on our core strengths, digitalise, embrace sustainable clean energy and technology and also innovate. As key enablers, good governance, accountability and transparency are fundamental pre-requisites for sustainable socio-economic growth which benefits our people and improves their quality of life,” said the President.
He commended the CGAIZ for taking bold steps and embarking on public sector accountancy, capacity building programmes, through partnerships with police and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to train their officials in forensic accounting, auditing and cyber security.
The President said such collaboration will go a long way in strengthening public institutions to effectively and efficiently deliver their mandate.
He however, bemoaned lack of good governance by some citizens in public and private sector, bordering around fraud and criminality.
“Hence my Government has embarked on robust programme to strengthen governance and accountability in the management of public resources. The development and maintenance of a transparent economic and regulatory environment is equally being prioritised and the fight against corruption and good corporate governance also augments efforts of my administration towards enhancing the ease of doing business.
“We stand committed to maintaining a track record of credible policy implementation through enactment of a number of laws such as the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act aimed at fighting corruption and ill-gotten wealth,” he said.
Government is determined to apply corporate governance principles enshrined in these and other legal instruments in all our public sector entities to enable them to be viable, efficient and positively contribute to our economic development, added President Mnangagwa.
He said the anti-corruption fight is a collective responsibility and Government cannot go it alone as he commended Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for doing a commendable job in combating corruption.
He said integrity committees are being set-up at public institutions as an effective tool to prevent corruption and promote good governance at institutional level.
“This underscores the importance my Government places on improving governance frameworks and straightening actions to improve the prevention, detection and sanctioning of corruption. I therefore call upon the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to also prioritise transparency and accountability through in-house anti-corruption efforts such as the setting up of similar integrity committees.
“I challenge the accountancy and governance sector to partner with Government as catalysts towards good corporate governance principles. You should demonstrate your role as trusted advisors by also ensuring the success of our National Development Strategy 1, Devolution and Decentralisation Agenda,” he said.
The President said the holding of the conference in Victoria Falls could not be overemphasised as the city is home to the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, as he invited more companies to consider listing on the platform.
Also in attendance were VP Chiwenga who buttressed the need for paradigm shift as he implored the institute members to play a role in the country’s economic growth to improve livelihoods.