Zim Open for Business: Govt abolishes Companies Act, says move to attract investors

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THE Companies Act will soon be replaced with the Companies and Other Entities Bill which will make it easier for investors to establish their firms in the country, a government official said Thursday.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Terrence Mukupe told a Round Table Discussion on Opening Up Zimbabwe to Corruption Free and Transparent Business that the move was in line with president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Open for Business mantra.

He said proposed changes would include the computerisation of the companies’ office, which was expected to eradicate undesirable practices within the office.

“The proposed Act will accord the Registrar of Companies the same investigative powers as commissioners under the Commissioners of Inquiry Act into the operations of companies and private business corporations as well as recommend prosecution for criminal offences or civil proceedings by any aggrieved parties to recover any damages incurred from the infringement,” he said.

Makupe said in an effort to improve the ease of doing business, government would also do away with some unnecessary pieces of legislation which only served to fuel bureaucratic red tape which in turn fuelled corruption.

He said some bills already before parliament that sought to address concerns to do with the ease of doing business would be fast tracked.

“These include the Insolvency Bill, Disposal of Assets Bill and the Shop Licenses Bill. The Shop Licensing Amendment Bill is merely now awaiting Presidential assent” he said.

Zimbabwe’s ease of doing business has been negatively affected by a raft of laws and regulations that have been making the establishment of business in the country a nightmare.

The stringent requirements have often created fertile ground for corruption and rent seeking behavior which has increased the cost of doing business in the country making it uncompetitive.