JUSTICE minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday presented the second reading of the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill which, among other provisions, facilitates the electronic registration of businesses, before Parliament.
Ziyambi told the National Assembly that the Bill sought to replace and update the law relating to companies, which is an archaic 1951 law whose features need to be updated.
The Bill would also allow for the registration of companies using any of the local languages recognised by the Constitution.
“The Bill will, for the first time allow officially recognised and recommended languages for registration of companies,” Ziyambi said.
“The Bill provides that investors will have to be given a copy of the registration which must be accompanied by translation into English,” he said.
“The Bill will deal with the merger and takeover of companies and licensing of business entities. It will deal with issues of unclaimed properties of defunct companies by introduction of a fair method of declaring such companies. It will also make beneficial ownership of companies more transparent.”
Ziyambi said the Bill would combat the use of companies for criminal purposes, as well as define the corporate responsibilities of directors and boards, including disclosures of directors’ salaries and pensions.
“The Bill will have additional measures to protect shareholders and investors, particularly minority shareholders. Companies should also observe gender balance, as well as in the appointment of their boards,” Ziyambi said.