TOP leadership should lead by example in combating corruption as this will cascade down to ordinary people, the National Code on Corporate Governance said.The ZimCode, which provides a framework for corporate governance conduct for public and private sectors said Government should play a major role in combating corruption.
The code was launched by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week.
“There must be a will-power to combat corruption on the part of the leadership of the country which should cascade down to ordinary men and women. The will power should filter through to directors and mangers of companies, parastatals and State controlled companies,” read the ZimCode.
At the launch, VP Mnangagwa said rules alone were not enough to deal with corruption but a change of attitude and culture was required. He said the Government would exercise “zero tolerance” to corruption.
The code said Government should introduce legislation and other measures to combat corruption and set up anti-corruption commissions with necessary legal powers.
VP Mnangagwa said the code had been crafted to address some challenges relating to the Companies Act which he said was in need of review although it has been subjected to a lot of amendments.
“There is growing consensus that the act needs revisiting. Far from the myth that the Companies Act has wilted the powers of the directors and provided a sturdy form of protection of the shareholders’ interests, the incessant increase in cases of abuse of office by directors who conceal their personal interests behind the veil of the company shows that the Act is marred with several shortcomings,” said the VP.
He added the Act was now obsolete in its application to modern day company management. He said Zimbabwe was currently going through a period of economic hardship and people yearn for the revival of economic growth that is buttressed by ethical corporate leadership.
“Many organisations require new investment capital which can be easily accessed if potential investors have confidence in the corporate governance systems,” he said.
The project chairman Mr Canaan Dube said the code was necessary after the 10-year period to 2009 of economic instability resulted in the mushrooming of unethical business standards.
He said the code would guide the country’s businesses and will guide every entity operating in Zimbabwe. Mr Dube said the code is expected to assist in the full realisation of key corporate governance and ethical leadership messages enunciated in the new constitution and in key national policy statements.
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe president Mr Bothwell Nyajeka said accountants support the code as it lays a solid foundation for reviving industry and delivers shareholder value. He said companies should make it a living document and operate within its means. -Business Reporter/Wires.
Bankers Association of Zimbabwe vice president Charity Jinya said poor corporate governance resulted in many banks failing due to unethical practices. Business Reporter/Wires