Zimbabwe this week launched its own corporate governance code after years of relying on the King Report, among other corporate governance codes. The National Code on Corporate Governance (ZimCode) was launched at a time when issues of corruption and abuse of both public and private office are rampant in the country.
Speaking at the launch, acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa said hardly a day passes without key functionaries in the governance system being accused of corruption. On Thursday former directors of state-owned airline Air Zimbabwe were convicted of criminal abuse of office in a case involving a US$10m insurance swindle. Prior to the launch, Zimbabwe did not have a corporate governance model of its own.
Most institutions in the country relied on the King Report on Governance which started with King I, King II and King III which came into effect on March 2010. Zimbabwean companies also relied heavily on the Companies Act. However, Mnangagwa said this was marred by several shortcomings, resulting in increased “abuse of office by directors who conceal their personal interests behind the veil”.
ZimCode is expected to guide every entity operating in Zimbabwe.