Deloitte partner and business rescue practitioner and member of the Turnaround Management Association of Southern Africa, Tapiwa Chizana (TC) was recently elected president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (Icaz) at the organisation’s winter school held in Victoria Falls. NewsDay (ND) business reporter, Mthandazo Nyoni, caught up with Chizana who encouraged government to weed out corruption at all levels in society, and to create an environment conducive for businesses to grow and flourish. Below are excerpts from the interview.
ND: Congratulations on your election as Icaz president. Could you briefly tell us about yourself?
TC: Tapiwa has been a Deloitte Partner since 2007, and has been with the firm for almost 20 years. Tapiwa is the Risk Leader for Deloitte Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi firms. He is a business rescue practitioner and member of the Turnaround Management Association of Southern Africa. He is the former chairperson of Matabeleland Society of Chartered Accountants committee. Tapiwa is on the Practice Review committee, sector committee of the PAAB (Public Accountants and Auditors Board). He is married to Florah and has three children.
ND: As the new Icaz president, what plans do you have for the Institute, say in the short-term, medium-term and long-term?
TC: We have a three-year strategic plan as the Icaz council, which I will drive towards implementing. Our focus will always be both inward and outward looking. Inward insofar as catering for our members’ needs and outwards insofar as adding value to our stakeholders and society is concerned.
ND: During the winter school, there was a proposal to consolidate the accounting profession in Zimbabwe. Going forward, how would you handle the proposal?
TC: The suggested consolidation of the accounting profession is not a position officially adopted or propagated by the Icaz council, though some stakeholders may personally share that respected view. My personal view is that there is strength in our diversity. What is important is that we work together with all accounting bodies to strengthen the profession.
ND: What is the institute doing or planning to do to curb corruption in the accounting profession?
TC: We provide continuous education to members and the public at large concerning issues of ethics and corruption. As an institute, we also have a disciplinary framework which we apply to Icaz members who have acted outside of the law or at variance with our standards and bylaws.
ND: Zimbabweans on Monday held elections that will usher in a new government. What qualifications do you think the Finance minister as well as the minister of Industry should have?
TC: Ministerial appointments are at the discretion and pleasure of the President and the pool of candidates to select from is often restricted to the qualifying Members of Parliament. However, in my humble opinion, the selected ministers should have an excellent understanding of financial and economic matters, such as what is characterised by chartered accountants. Icaz and its members have a role to support and advice the appointed ministers, should the assistance be requested.
ND: Lastly, what is your advice to the incoming government in as much as the economy is concerned?
TC: I would encourage the government to weed out corruption at all levels in society and to create an environment conducive for businesses to grow and flourish.