CBZ Bank took first place in all the Banking Institutions Awards categories of the Excellence in Corporate Governance Banking Awards on Thursday, while its parent company, CBZ Holdings, was among the top three in all the Listed Companies categories.
The overall winner in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed companies category was Innscor Africa. CBZ Holdings came second and Dairibord Holdings came third.
First place in the State Enterprises and Parastatals Best Corporate Governance Practices Awards went to the People’s Own Savings Bank. The Deposit Protection Corporation came second. TelOne came third.
There were two individual winners of the Governance Professional of the Year Award. CBZ Holdings group legal corporate secretary Rumbidzayi Jakanani won the award for her company’s consistently winning Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards every year, since the awards were inaugurated four years ago.
Innscor Africa company secretary Andrew Lorimer won the other Governance Professional of the Year Award for his company having the most improved ranking in the listed companies category.
The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ) has been holding the Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards since 2013 as a way of promoting good corporate governance.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and internationally renowned corporate governance guru Professor Mervyn King both attended this year’s event.
In the Banking Institutions Awards Overall Best Banking Corporate Governance Practices category, CBZ Bank came first, Cabs came second and MBCA Bank came third.
In the Best Banking Governance Practices category CBZ came first, Cabs came second and NMB Bank came third.
CBZ came first, FBC Bank second and MBCA third in both the Best Banking Risk Management Practices category and the Best Banking Internal Audit Disclosures category.
In the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Listed Companies Awards, CBZ Holdings took first place in the Shareholder Treatment category. African Distillers was second and Innscor Africa third.
Innscor Africa came first in the Stakeholder Practices and Sustainability Reporting category. Dairbord came second and CBZ third.
First place in the Board Practices category went to NicozDiamond Insurance. CBZ came second and Africa Sun third.
Presenting the adjudicators’ report, ICSAZ chief executive Farai Musamba said a panel of eight adjudicators evaluated the companies, banks and parastatals using the ICSAZ corporate governance scorecard.
All companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange were evaluated, apart from two companies with a secondary listing on the ZSE and three newly listed companies that did not have 2015 annual reports on the ZSE website. The adjudicators use annual reports and other publicly available documents in their adjudication.
All 53 companies evaluated were ranked, although only the names of the top three were announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday. The rankings of the other companies would be posted on the ICSAZ web-site, Dr Musamba said.
Fifteen banking institutions were evaluated. Ninety-seven state enterprises and parastatals were eligible for evaluation. However, the adjudicators faced challenges obtaining information. Most state enterprises and parastatals did not have up-to-date annual reports. For these reasons only 10 were evaluated.
Dr Musamba said the adjudication exercise revealed that reporting entities in Zimbabwe had not applied the National Code on Corporate Governance, which was launched by the government in April last year.
“Also there is evidence of participants following some reporting templates without serious efforts to disclose relevant and reliable information to users.
“Best corporate governance practice recommends voluntary as opposed to mandatory disclosure regimes. Any corporate board that takes corporate governance seriously should not wait for the ‘stick’ to do the right thing. The responsibility of stewardship should be the utmost drive to voluntarily disclose relevant and reliable information to shareholders and other stakeholders,” he said.
The Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards Dinner has become an important annual event for corporate bodies, as evidenced by the turnout at the dinner on Thursday. The awards have become a hallmark of excellence and provide a yardstick for best corporate governance practice. They recognise the efforts of corporate boards that effectively lead their organisations in a sustainable, innovative and ethical way.
The adjudicators’ remarks highlight shortcomings, which provide a further yardstick for organisations to measure up to.