The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) is planning to establish a database of people who are suitable to sit on the boards of state companies as it seeks to improve corporate governance in its institutions, the office has said.
A public notice published by the office’s Corporate Governance Unit (CGU) over the weekend said the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill which was gazetted on July 21 would be tabled in Parliament shortly to drive the process forward.
According to the bill, the CGU is required to “establish and maintain up to date a comprehensive directory or database accessible to all line ministers and boards that will enable them to identify suitably qualified candidates for appointments to boards of public entities.”
Board members of every public entity should have an appropriate diversity of skills, experience or qualifications for managing the entity, including skills, experience or qualifications in the fields of law, accountancy and one or more of the engineering disciplines.
There have been complaints that some ministers appoint relatives and friends to boards of state enterprises even when they do not have the requisite skills to contribute to their success.
Some people have also sat on two or more boards at the same time.
The new law, which is expected to be passed before the end of the year, will allow interested Zimbabweans to submit details of their qualifications and the sectors in which they believe they would add value in terms of operational efficiency and effectiveness.
The OPC in September instructed government ministries to come up with strategies to resuscitate ailing state enterprises and parastatals (SEPs) under their purview and to recommend the dissolution of those that are inefficient.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda told an engagement workshop between the public and private sectors on the new bill that Cabinet had directed him to ensure that SEPs were restructured and operated viably.
He said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development would work with various government agencies to help the ministries come up with turnaround strategies for the state entities under their control.
Zimbabwe has 107 SEPs whose majority report losses every year, and at least six are insolvent.
President Mugabe recently said the SEPs were contributing only 11 percent of GDP in recent years compared to about 40 percent in the 1990s.
The decline has been attributed to asset stripping and mismanagement. Enditem