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Mutapa entities must be whipped into line-Expert

By Agencies

 A FINANCIAL expert has implored the Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF) to pursue a no-nonsense approach as a way to end a culture of incompetence and impunity at most companies under its purview.

The State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) used to contribute 40% of revenue to the fiscus in the 1990s before taking a nosedive in the latter parts of the decade owing to undue political interference, corruption, embezzlement of funds and a host of other factors, which saw the companies transforming into conduits draining the taxpayers.

For instance, Air Zimbabwe, which now falls under the MIF, has made headlines over corruption, mismanagement and abuse of funds over the years which have significantly seen it going down from the past glamour of being an airline of choice to current appalling levels.

The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has also been on record for profligacy ranging from hefty perks for top managers, tender manipulation on the back of deplorably poor service delivery that has resulted in the once vibrant entity gravitating to its lowest ebb.

Almost every entity placed under the MIF leb by Chief Executive Officer John Mangudya has its fair share of shortcomings requiring an urgent nip in the bud.

Speaking recently, financial analyst, Owen Mavengere said there is an urgent need to make sure that the country’s recently established Sovereign Wealth Fund, MIF, entities become straight as arrows in their modus operandi.

“The MIF needs to engage professional bodies to offer training and development programmes to enhance employee skills or to reskill completely. This should be in accounting, engineering, human resources, ICT and so on.

“As a matter of urgency, there is a need to perform a comprehensive audit of staffing levels to identify areas of overstaffing, implement a merit-based system for hiring and promotion and to avoid shock through a natural attrition process of reducing workforce can be considered,” he said.

The expert suggested that in the short term period, the MIF must begin with immediate actions such as implementing transparency measures, conducting audits, and setting up the oversight bodies in the subsidiaries, digitising processes and reducing red tape.

He said the MIF can benchmark performance against leading global institutions to adopt best practices in governance, transparency, and operational efficiency following examples from similar bodies in Rwanda, Singapore, Ethiopia, UAE, among others.

“Above all the MIF can promote ethical behaviour through training and awareness programmes and ensure that leadership sets a positive example by adhering to the highest ethical standards,” added Mavengere.

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