‘ZIMRA board must be fired for breaching corporate governance principles’
"It's like having the owners of Manchester United, the Glazers one day being coaches and another day going back to the board. You can't have such a situation."
The initial appointment of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) board member Moris Mpofu to Acting Commissioner General (CG) is evidence enough that the whole board must be fired, observers note.
Mpofu was controversially appointed last week after Rameck Masaire tendered his retirement as CG. His appointment was criticised for exhibiting corrupt tendencies because he was in 2019 fired from Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) over graft.
ZIMRA was also accused of breaching corporate governance principles by appointing one of the Authority’s board members to the managerial post. Mpofu was subsequently fired within 48 hours of his appointment.
ZIMRA reinstated Masaire who had retired, raising suspicion that the initial arrangement was a boardroom coup.
A prominent Harare corporate governance expert told Nehanda Radio it was illegal for an organization’s board members to appoint one of them to the managerial position.
“The role of the board is to provide checks and balances to the secretariat or to the workers of an organization. So, it is an anomaly for board members to find themselves switching roles from providing oversight to being workers of an organization. It is against principles of corporate governance,” the expert said.
“It’s like having the owners of Manchester United, the Glazers one day being coaches and another day going back to the board. You can’t have such a situation.”
Posting on Twitter, Norton legislator Temba Mliswa also slammed the current ZIMRA board and called for its disbandment.
“There is a conflict of interest in making Morris Mpofu, who is a board member, the new ZIMRA CEO. Whoever is a board member can never be part of management. That whole board should go because it doesn’t understand corporate management.
“They want one of their own to get in so that they create deals for themselves. A new board should come in. This one has caused so many problems,” Mliswa said.
In May 2019, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board of directors fired seven senior executives, including then CEO Mpofu following reports of rampant corruption and abuse of office.
He was arraigned on charges of criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly recommended that ZCDC should sell diamonds to a blacklisted buyer. He was released on ZWL 2 000 bail by magistrate Barbara Mateko. The State later withdrew charges against him.
Next month marks a year since Masaire was installed by ZIMRA as CG following the resignation of Faith Mazani, who joined the International Monetary Fund. Nehanda Radio