Implementing good corporate governance

Corporate governance

As a country we have witnessed some State enterprises failing to comply with regulations to submit annual audited financial statements.

This is against the tenants of good corporate governance.

We are reliably informed that even in the private sector some companies are failing to file their annual returns and financial statements. 

In response to these allegations, the government notes it may have to come up with laws and regulations, like it did with the Zimbabwe National Code on Corporate Governance (ZimCode) and the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.

But regulation is not the best means of monitoring corporate governance. This is because sound and effective corporate governance cannot rely solely on the legislative framework.

It requires self-discipline and the proper execution of duties by directors, checks and balances and the promotion of a clean corporate culture.

Indeed, corporate governance is not only beneficial to individual companies; it is also of vital importance to maintain the credibility, stability and competitiveness of the economy.

As we march towards realising Vision 2030 good corporate governance is not an optional extra, but an essential element as it will serve to attract and retain investment and thus stimulate economic growth.

Good corporate governance is vital for sustainable economic development. It holds the key to building of stable and secure societies and to driving inclusive growth within the finite boundaries of our planet over the long term.

Fair, reliable and accountable governing institutions build trust among people, business and government. As the second republic and new dispensation, we are putting structures in place to enhance our transparency and accountability.

In most countries, citizens entrust governments, the public sector and State enterprises with their tax money and the resources of their country to manage the public good, present and future, and to provide essential services and infrastructure. It is this element of trust that binds the government and its people, stakeholders and those charged with governance.

I believe that for effective corporate governance monitoring, shareholders must be well-informed about their rights so that they can question actions of executives and hold them to account.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange are key as they act as a barometer of economic activity.

As markets, the stock exchanges must attract investors, including foreign investors, so that companies can realise value from listing thereon.

Good corporate governance is one of the key benchmarks on which international investors rely, and a standard to which our listed companies should aspire.

To promote our capital markets, on the part of government and regulators, we are committed to continuously enhance the regulatory regime and upgrade our market quality. But in so doing, we are always mindful of the need to strike a proper balance between the necessary level of regulation and facilitation of business.

As I mentioned at the beginning, corporate governance is a culture of good ethics.

The government, regulators, professional bodies and the investing public have roles to play.

For an ethical corporate culture, we look to business leaders, in the daily running of your businesses, in the boardroom, in relating to investors — to not only do what is within the strict parameters of the law, but also what is ethically right and ultimately good for your business.

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