“HAVING been introduced in 2005, the IoDZ’s interest in launching this award was to create a platform to profile your key role as directors in conducting your onerous duties and responsibilities. The successes and failures your companies and organisations are a reflection of your and other directors’ commitment, skill and dedication in discharging your duties.
“The importance of your responsibilities is highlighted by the global financial crisis which, as Professor Mervyn King, in the King III report observed: ‘The credit crunch, and the resulting crisis among leading financial institutions, is increasingly presented as a crisis of corporate governance.’
“Our country is heralding the dawn of re-engineering our economy, hence our theme this evening. The basis for our success will be determined and defined by how our private sector will perform. As a result you shoulder a mammoth responsibility of not just directing your companies through this crisis period but also the weight on ensuring that this country’s economy grows and prospers.
“Our position, as the IoDZ, on governance during this period, is very clear that now more than any other time corporate governance is not just an essential but a necessity.
“We will be able to measure the rate of our contribution to the survival of our companies and the national economy on quality of our directorship and level of compliance to corporate governance principles and practices.
“As we fight to reposition ourselves in the global economic arena, we ironically have to be more dependent on it to pull us through. This interesting paradox means each one of us must appreciate the high level of risk of not complying to best practice corporate governance.
“This will be demanded of us if we are to attract the much needed resources and confidence to recapitalise our companies. We do not have to be guided by best practice to appreciate this, we should be guided by the necessity to enhance re-establish and grow our companies. This is expected and demanded of all of us by our shareholders and our people in general. We owe it to them.
“The Director of the Year Awards is informed by this national imperative. By celebrating the achievement of excelling individual directors; their individual contribution, we hope to stimulate the interest of all of you to emulate and excel beyond what they have achieved.
“The need for this stimulus is evident. When you consider that over the five years the level of nominiees for this award and particularly this year has been low.
“It reflects that the boards and their directors are not fully confident of their excellence in directing the companies you lead. It may also show the limited interest is networking and showcasing individual companies’ best practice in governance.
“I challenge all of you to look into the mirror and review your own performance and ask the question ‘Can we stand to scrutiny and be the best we can be to inspire others?’ I hope that next year you will be able to prove me wrong and say ‘Yes! We have done it’
“As the out-going chairman of the IoDZ I feel privileged that this product has been launched and grown during my term of office initially as executive director and later as chairman.
“I must pay tribute to all the people who have inspired and worked hard to make this possible, the dedicated past chairpersons, Muchadeyi Masunda and Boyman Mancama, all members of the IoDZ council who have put their full weight on this, the various corporates who have sponsored and supported this event, the IoD UK which has inspired us, the different luminaries who have graced
the occasion, the past winners who have been very good ambassadors for the award and all the people who have attended this function over the past five years, we thank you. You inspired us!
“For tonight’s occasion I wish to recognise my personal appreciation to our guest of honour, Alex Mhembere and his wife for supporting us; our main sponsors, Barclays Bank Zimbabwe Ltd, Rainbow Tourism Group, Ernst and Young, Air Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Independent. Special thanks go to our people in the trenches, the adjudicators, Mark Oxley, Nqaba Mkwananzi and Divine Ndlukula and the lovely entertainers. Thank you for a job well done.