Parastatal boards lack quality: Chinamasa

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Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has conceded there is lack of quality in parastatal boards, saying Cabinet has committed to rectifying this issue after gazetting the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill.

By Fidelity Mhlanga

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa

Chinamasa said core board members should be professionals drawn from the accounting, human resources and law occupation.

“On corporate governance the Bill passed and I think it was gazetted yesterday [last Friday] and we had a very interesting discussion in Cabinet about the quality of board members,” he told delegates at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe winter school in Victoria Falls at the weekend.

“A suggestion came and was adopted by Cabinet that we should involve professional people, at least the core of the board should be constituted of professional people.

“Accountants, human resources experts, lawyers and so on.

“I think we have incorporated those sections in the Bill.”

The Finance minister’s remarks come at a time most parastatals are technically insolvent and a perennial drain on the fiscus due to mismanagement, poor corporate governance and corruption, among other vices.

Chinamasa said the lack of quality in parastatal boards and management was making it impossible to turn around their fortunes.

“The quality of board members is important. In this regard, I will also say that my experience, so far in the parastatals that we are seeking to turnaround, it all goes down to the quality of the board,” he said.

“Our problem is not money. The problem is ideas, critical workable ideas and when you have a combination of good management and ideas things work.

“So it’s very important that we focus on good corporate governance. Which is also another way of fighting corruption.”

The Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill, gazetted last Friday spells out substantive salary caps for heads of public entities, with those who breach them facing prosecution.

According to the Bill, the State will also seize assets and wealth amassed from looting public funds.

In March 2014, the government imposed a salary cap of $6 000 for top earners in parastatals and local authorities, after it emerged that quasi-government entities were paying senior employees mega-salaries, but this was not adhered to.

The country has 78 parastatals and most of them currently do not have fully constituted boards.

Appointments to parastatals and State-owned enterprises’ boards have often been shrouded in allegations of nepotism.

The appointment of President Robert Mugabe’s daughter, Bona Mugabe-Chikore to the Censorship and the Youth Bank boards recently caused a storm, while army boss, General Constantino Chiwenga’s wife, Marry Mubaiwa now sits on the Special Economic Zones board.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Sitting allowances chete! Each time there is a new minister, a new board is appointed. Appointment to the board has nothing to do with competence as decisions pertaining parastatals are political and boardmembers are nothing but puppets and their main interest is sitting allowances

    • Did you understand the story and its contents or you just inked your response? Why do you say “appointment to the board has nothing to do with competence”. Do you even understand the purpose of a code of corporate governance?

      • Bvudzijena is not offside, competence is one aspect but the bane of most parastatal boards is not competence but their independence is questionable. But I haven’t read the bill to be qualified to speak

  2. mhuno dzakashama kunge matanga emarize. unofanirwa kuve uchidya adhumbe kumusha kwako kwete kuve minister.

  3. Chinamasa has a valid point which will not find takers in cabinet. In Zimbabwe, board members of parastatals will never be appointed on merit by the current crop of ministers we have because majority of they were not appointed on competency by the appointing authority but on political patronage and nepotism.The word professionalism do not exist in the vocabulary of the current leaders across the political divide.

  4. The government itself is not run by people with any quality so expecting parastatals to have quality is a joke. Can Chinamasa tell me what quality he brinks to government when he says there are no cash shortages yet daily people sleep in bank queues. They pick their relatives with dubious qualifications into these boards and expect quality. How does he expect crop cultivation from a baboon?

  5. This is all talk by Cde Chinomamiswa. The govt that appoints these boards is corrupt and thus the by product is equally corrupt. Look at CAAZ, the board which is basically a Lacoste extention protects an incompetent computer technician in the mould of a CEO. His best friend is the former MoT Permanent Secretary famed for milking Air Zim of more than $10m through his mzkuru Grace Pfumbi… What happened to him and his mzkuru?? Nothing! Laws and regulations are only as good as the people implementing them.

  6. Jab7, I agree with you. The whole Zimbabwe administration lacks quality. Let us start from the top. A mediocre Minister can’t choose a quality board coz they will not understand each other.

  7. Manisters edu lack credibility, competence, integrity & accountability.To then expect them to appoint professionals to boards of SOE is a hard sale. Laws & regulations we can have but without correct implementation, hapana chinobuda. Chinamasa sounds well here but he knows the elephant in the room that stops implementation. The first daughter was appointed to a board rebank zuro uno.Ndipo panofira nyaya yacho

  8. Sorry to say that accountants have failed because zim is in doldrums.we have accountants all over even in manufacturing industry they dominate. I doubt that appointing them to boards will serve. we only need one but the rest should be trades or trained people in the fields dominated by the parastatals.-engineering, agriculture, telecomunnications etc.
    You will find retired brigadiers etc in such parastatals then you expect a soldier to understand engineering or agriculture. What will only happen is command this , command that. No result at all

  9. Dr this Dr that from govt to board members asi chabuda hapana. Musoro wemba kana wakafa hapana chinobuda kuvana.

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