HomeLocal News‘Name and shame loss-making parastatals’

‘Name and shame loss-making parastatals’

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ACCOUNTANT–GENERAL Daniel Muchemwa (Ministry of Finance) told Parliament last week that it is now time to name and shame loss-making State enterprises and parastatals (SEPs) and “put them in coffins”, if need be.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

His statement came a week after President Robert Mugabe made similar threats, describing most parastatals as a huge burden to the fiscus.

Muchemwa said he was still searching for 30 SEPs whose books of accounts have never been availed to Auditor-General Mildred Chiri for routine audit checks. He said the problem at some SEPs was not lack of qualified manpower and computerised equipment, but that the people running them were the main problem.

“Zimbabwe has SEPs that have the best computers, and so the problem is not lack of capacity in terms of equipment, the issue is more about lack of commitment by people running them,” Muchemwa said.

“She (Chiri) qualified 10 of the 108 parastatals after she found specific issues with them and she audited 78 out of the 108 SEPS, which means that there are 30 others that were not audited and I am still searching for those institutions that are not accountable to Parliament,” he said.

Muchemwa added: “President (Robert Mugabe) called for coffins and said the time is ripe for us to look at each SEP and say is it worth carrying forward (bailing out). Where coffins are required for the SEPs, we will say do we need large or small coffins, but we will have coffins were appropriate because there is demand for government left right and centre to rescue them. We will not do rescue before we have identified which parts of the whole needs to be buried.”

State Enterprises Restructuring Agency executive director Edgar Nyoni said they will soon make public a document on SEPs’ performance which will outline those that were making profits and those that were not. In 2014, only two out of 97 SEPs paid dividends to government.

Muchemwa added: “Within seven days I will submit a naming and shaming report on various issues highlighted that MPs need to be aware of.”

To sort out the mess at SEPs, government will bring before Parliament a Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill which seeks to usher in good corporate governance practices.

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