HomePoliticsParastatal graft: Minister blames political patronage

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In an Interview with Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday, Moyo said most parastatals were run by incompetent people and had failed to adhere to good co-operate governance practices such as holding annual general meetings (AGMs), among other things.

He blamed political patronage for bringing in corrupt and incompetent managers whom he said had “no clue” on how to run important institutions. He said transparency and accountability were a “culture shock and burden” to individuals used to looting parastatals.

“It gets them angry and they have to find ways to avoid anything that brings them under scrutiny,” Moyo said. “If any parastatal fails to provide financial statements or audited reports, we will invite the Anti-Corruption Commission because these are legal requirements to ensure transparency and accountability. They should not give us reason to suspect they have something to hide,” he said.

Moyo said his ministry would step up efforts to ensure AGMs are held using relevant acts of parliament, subsidiary legislation and the Corporate Governance Framework  launched in November 2010.

“Out of a sample of 42 state enterprises and parastatals who submitted their returns, regrettably only four were able to hold their AGMs as provided for under the Companies Act (Chapter24: 03),” he said. “Let me emphasise that all parastatals were required to hold AGMs in line with the CGF beginning 2011.”

Moyo said failure to hold AGMs deprived government, as a shareholder, the opportunity to exercise its ownership functions which include consideration of audited financial statements and reports, authorisation of programmes, reviewing board composition, making new appointments and approving remuneration policies.

The Companies Act requires that one-third of the board retire at an AGM while best practices in corporate governance require parastatals to be properly constituted, timeously staffed by competent and reliable persons.

Moyo said his ministry was working on different approaches to ensure compliance with corporate governance practices and they would launch next week the State Enterprises and Parastatals Restructuring Manual which will be the “bible, chapter and verse on the restructuring of parastatals to make them more efficient”.

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