IMF funds ‘specialised’ audits in parastatals, according government

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GOVERNMENT says the IMF has provided funding for “specialized audits” in the country’s collapsed and corruption ridden state enterprises with the aim of finding “scenarios” of revival.
Among the state enterprises which have collapsed are the Cold Storage Company (CSC), National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Air Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
Top management at most of these ailing parastatals have been accused of looting, at times fraudulently awarding themselves hefty salaries and personal loans at the expense of their struggling entities.
Flouting tender procedures, tax evasions and money laundering have also characterised most of these public firms.
Corporate Governance, State Enterprises and Delivery Unit permanent secretary in the Office of the President, Ambassador Stuart Comberbach, said specialised audits have already started in some of these state enterprises whose aim is to come up with “a range of scenario” for turning around the failing firms.
“That will, in some cases, certainly involve the coming in of joint venture partners of private partnerships, but it takes time to turn a monster like NRZ around or to get the road system back to the capacity where it should be at,” he told at the weekend.
He said after the audits, government should not only inject fresh capital but ensure that qualified personnel are given the mandate and responsibility of running these state enterprises.
“Reforming a parastatal is one thing and you need also need to make sure that the management knows what it is doing.
“Management at CEO, board and senior staff levels should be qualified and competent and we should also make sure that they are abide by sound good corporate governance principles which has not been the case with most of our state enterprises,” he said.
“A number of parastatals do not have full boards and others do not have boards at all and this is something which really needs to be addressed but it will take time seriously because we have 97.
“Moreover, you cannot run a modern economy if you do not have electricity and you need water and an efficient railway network.”