Comply with corporate governance principles, parastatals urged

The Chronicle

Sikhulekelani Moyo, Business Reporter

STATE entities must adhere to the principles of corporate governance to enhance transparency and accountability in their operations, which assists in the fight against corruption, a Cabinet minister has said.

In 2018, the Government enacted the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act, which demands that public entities operate in line with their constitutional mandates and expend their budgetary allocations subject to Parliamentary oversight through reporting and accountability.

The legislation also provides a uniform mechanism for regulating conditions of service for senior officials of public enterprises.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Line Ministries Public Entity Cooperate Governance Oversight Meeting in Bulawayo on Friday, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Felix Mhona, said the Second Republic abhors corruption.

“We also want to make sure that we fight corruption and there are integral components to that effect where we got integral parties to that effect in the sense that parastatals are mandated to come up with integrity committees where they file issues to do with corruption,” he said.

“I am happy to say so far so good. We have got other parastatals that are lagging even in terms of their annual general meetings but we have mandated those parastatals to be up to the task in terms of their submissions.

“Annual statutory reports are integral in the broad scheme of things as far as parliamentary oversight is concerned.

Annual reports must be submitted before Parliament for deliberation and scrutiny.”

Mhona said the ministry introduced the integrity committees to work closely with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to mitigate corrupt tendencies and enhance the integrity of public officials.

To effectively fight corruption, he said the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act requires entities to comply with the annual auditing procedures, holding of annual general meetings, crafting and reviewing of board charters and submitting annual reports.

Over the year most State entities have been making losses for years in what has been attributed to mismanagement and poor corporate governance.

The Government is implementing public enterprise reforms, which include reducing shareholdings in some of the entities to improve efficiency and governance and lessen the burden on the fiscus.

“This is a corrective measure we are taking now and why we have actually moved the step forward to these pieces of legislation is to correct those imbalances that were witnessed through the parastatals,” he said.

“Now we have a business approach to parastatals and we are saying we need to be innovative because there is no way we can have the donor syndrome mentality where we can actually tap into fiscus.

We need to be innovative and come up with vibrant programmes that will support the sustenance of the organisation.”

The minister said parastatals were bleeding the fiscus by continuously getting funding                   and support from the Treasury when they should be generating their income. – @SikhulekelaniM1

Article Source: The Chronicle

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