THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) says the government should put more effort in developing the economy rather than politics in a clear signal business is losing patience on national leaders.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
Speaking at the ICAZ 20th anniversary at Integrity House in Harare last week, past president Nyasha Zhou said the institute was ready to work with the government in rebuilding the country.
“We sense there is too much effort on politics and not on the economy. Can you please go and tell the Vice-President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) in a nice way that the government should put less energy on politics and more energy on the development of the economy,” Zhou said.
“Pull the professional people together and ask what Zimbabwe they would want to see. We say let’s work together, we are here the professional people.”
He said there were a number of policy inconsistences, more talk and little action and this was worrying professional people in Zimbabwe.
“The economy is grinding backwards continuously, job losses both in public and in the private sector that many people are now in the streets. We now have vendors selling anything from bows and arrows to tsenza (edible tubers),” Zhou said.
Since the December sacking of ministers for allegedly plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe, the ruling Zanu PF has devoted more efforts in purging those who hold divergent views as the economy burns.
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ICAZ president Bothwell Nyajeka said the institute had grown from 616 members to 1 700 spread across the world.
“In 1995, we had 616 members and 169 students. We now have 1 700 members and 700 students, a growth of three times in membership and six times in the number of students,” Nyajeka said.
“In addition, in 1995, most of our members were operating in Zimbabwe. To date, your excellence, we are proud to say that our members are now spread out throughout the world with 47% of our members now based outside Zimbabwe.”
He said the institute had mutual recognition agreements with six international accounting bodies — South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, Hong Kong, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, England and Wales, and was also working on agreements with India, United States, and Namibia.
Nyajeka said ICAZ had started discussions on areas the institute could partner with the auditor-general.
“We believe this will strengthen accounting and financial management within government which will result in improved use of resources. After all, Your Excellency, government is the biggest business entity in the country with revenue streams of over $4 billion and a huge capital base. As chartered accountants, we always believe that good financial management coupled with effective corporate governance will lead to economic growth,” he said.
Nyajeka said ICAZ members were also working with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to come up with a framework on how chartered accountants could assist in the resuscitation of distressed parastatals.
Speaking at the same event, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza said chartered accountants were relevant for the growth of the economy playing key roles in public and private sectors.
“No economy can grow successfully without the involvement of chartered accountants. You are very relevant to the growth of the economy and also for the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation,” she said.
She glorified the profession, saying that in the world of business, chartered accountants had proved to be trustworthy and faithful to their work even when the members were called to investigate corruption and anomalies in company financials.
She added that chartered accountants should continue and help the nation to fight against corruption.
She said corruption had serious effects on the economy and some of the negative effects were scarce resources, which affected the smooth running of hospitals and schools, among many others.