Govt courts chartered accountants

GOVERNMENT has gone an inch closer to professionalising State entities, as it is courting chartered accountants (CAs) for possible placement on the boards of parastatals, NewsDay has learnt.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

The move was prompted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) revelation earlier this month that only two of its members were sitting on the boards of six sampled State-owned entities.

ICAZ president, Martin Makaya confirmed yesterday the accounting body received a request from the Auditor-General Mildred Chiri and was preparing a database of interested accountants for submission to the government.

“Actually, we got a communication from the Auditor-General. We got the request on January 18 this year after we highlighted the issue at the centenary gala dinner. As an institute, we are excited at this positive response. We are preparing a database of chartered accountants, who are interested on sitting on public entity boards. We have since tasked our secretariat to get curriculum vitaes from those who are interested,” he said.

Parastatals used to contribute at least 40% of the country’s gross domestic product, but have been decimated by rampant corruption and lack of good corporate governance.

Makaya said CAs were keen to sit on new boards rather than old ones.

“They didn’t give a deadline as to when we should submit the list, but expect us to send them the database of those interested as soon as possible. The issue they (CAs) have raised was whether they will sit on current boards or they would be accompanied by new blood. When they get into those boards, they desire to adhere to good corporate governance,” he said.

Chiri confirmed yesterday receiving a request for CAs from the Office of the President for possible placement on parastatal boards.

The government, through the Office of the President and Cabinet, the Finance ministry and the State Enterprise and Restructuring Agency, is in the process of developing a proposal for comprehensive reform and rationalisation of State enterprise and parastatals.

At ICAZ’s winter school last year, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said there was lack of quality on parastatal boards.


Chinamasa said core board members should be professionals drawn from the accounting, human resources and law, saying this would be rectified through the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill gazetted last year.

8 Comments

  1. Positive development

  2. I am of a different opinion, there is too much reliance on these so called CA’s, majority have failed in the private sector look at all failed banks interfin, barbican, rainnasence (pardon my spelling)century bank, royal, trust bank all due to poor and pathetic corporate governance all bordering on fraud, private companies turnell,PG,zitac, radar, tsl, cotco,gulliver , zinara , the list is endless,

  3. Tyson Kasukuwere

    why Chartered Accountants only? doesnt make sense. You just need good people for each role whether operationally or in committees of the Boards. so if you have 10 CAs on the board what will that do?

  4. Being a CA myself, this articles overstates the abilities of the CAs. Many do not have the commercial appreciation required to be NEDs and are just number crunchers, good at reviewing financial statements and IFRS updates. These parastatals require Board members with an entrepreneurial mindset and commercial acumen, which unfortunately is not defined by the fact yekuti munhu akapasa ma zacc or CA exams. As Taz Mhake noted, Ana Timba, Rwodzi vaive ma CA wani kasi kuporonga kwacho

  5. I am a CA, based in SA. All I can say is we Chartered Accountants are overrated, here in SA you have SAICA promoting CAs like we are some Brain Surgeons, Nuclear Physicists and Rocket Scientists rolled into one. But look whats happening with KPMG, Steinhoff to name but 2. CAs should be on the boards to help with reviewing financial statements and help with taxes, audit committees and the like. The profession should be honest and represent our skills in a fair way not overstate our abilities.

  6. I am a CA but I am not very sure about the value the CAs sitting on the parastatal boards are supposed to bring. When debating such issues lets try as much as possible to be specific at least that way people can debate. Personally, as a CA, i dont think its the CA or whatever profession that will bring change on any board; corporate governance is the NUMBER 1 thing. The most important question to be answered is whether there is complete separation of ownership and control. Once thats addressed then we can start thinking about board composition and the skills required. Food for thought.

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