Abuse of public office is rampant in many countries and scores of senior officials in many jurisdictions, Zimbabwe included, have been prosecuted over the matter.
But it appears people do not learn from their colleagues’ mistakes and more and more continue to join their counterparts in jails after committing similar crimes.
It is against this backdrop that public entities have been implored to adopt effective governance systems, transparency and accountability as they are cornerstones of any thriving economy.
In her keynote address during a two-day annual Public Sector Convention organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ), the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) president Keto Kayemba, said public entities are key in growing economies, hence the need to employ properly qualified personnel.
“Public entities are very important in growing economies, what needs to be done is adopting strategies which will promote professional accountancy in Africa,” said Kayemba.
“Effective governance, transparency, and accountability are the cornerstones of any thriving economy. The accountancy profession must play a more significant role in influencing public policy and serve as trusted advisors to governments on socio-economic development initiatives, including the adoption and implementation of accrual-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).”
She said Zimbabwe has been making strides in growing its economy hence the need to give the country a chance to find a solution to its challenges.
“It is only Zimbabweans that can bring Zimbabwe back. The public sector should be supported by resources that can take Zimbabwe to the highest levels”.
She said resources should be harnessed and collected for the benefit of the citizens and this would be possible when the public entities are transparent and accountable.
In his presentation during the same event, the head of the Corporate Governance Unit, Allan Choruma, said for the country to attain an upper middle income status by 2030 there is a need for accountable and strong public entities as they are key economic enablers.
“As public accountants, you play a pivotal role in ensuring accountability, transparency, disclosure and responsibility and prudent financial management to ensure that the good governance of public entities will lead to the economic development of our country.”
Choruma said public entities should focus on delivering on their mandate in an accountable and sustainable manner adding that the ultimate shareholders in public entities are the people of Zimbabwe.
“The people expect public entities to deliver efficient, reliable, accessible and affordable service to the citizens. They expect public entities to be accountable and transparent to the people over the use of public resources and shun corruption and abuse of public resources at all costs,” he said.
ICAZ president, Maynard Chigunduru, buttressed the public sector role in society as they provide essential services.
“This convention provides a unique opportunity for us to come together, share knowledge and collectively work towards enhancing the efficiency, transparency and accountability of the public sector.
“The purpose of this convention is multifaceted. We aim to foster collaboration and create a space where ideas, innovations, and best practices can be shared,” said Chigunduru.