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State Corporations cautioned on financial independence

By Steve Chirombo

Mangochi, April 3, Mana: Controller of Statutory Corporations has called on various state corporations in the country to move from financial dependence to independence saying this is the only way to transform their working places.

The call was made on Monday at a meeting between the department of statutory corporations and board chairpersons of state corporations which took place at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi district.

Peter Simbani, Controller of Statutory Corporations, said government expects  corporations to be financially independent so that the country can make progress in as far as expenditure is concerned.

“It is unfortunate that when government is expecting you to generate revenue and contribute to the growth of the economy, most state corporations are struggling and expecting bailouts from treasury,” he said.

Simbani added that during their discussions, he expected participants to share ideas and generate proposed solutions and strategies that will help transform their institutions.

He however acknowledged challenges that the board chairpersons of the state corporations pass through when discharging their noble roles but was quick to say that the challenges and concerns that have been raised, were being given serious consideration citing an example of government’s take to revise upwards renumeration rates allowances for board chairpersons and members with effect from April 1st, 2023.

“However, while this is the case, I hope that board chairpersons will maintain discipline by making sure that they stick to their board calendars for meetings and not just call for extra-ordinary meetings for any other matter that arises,” he emphasised.

The Controller of Statutory Corporations further called on the board chairpersons to assist government in the fight against corruption by ensuring that procurements are done properly based on the approved procurement plans.

“These plans are supposed to be approved and monitored by the board as they are being implemented. Let me also make it clear here that your institutions are supposed to have integrity committees that will help in the fight against the vice.

“You are, therefore, tasked to make sure that integrity committees are in place and are properly supported financially by both the board and the executive management “prevention is better than cure,” he said.

On his part, Dickson Vuwa Phiri, Board Chair for the National Library Service who also chairs board of state corporations, said for almost three years they have held the positions, the board chairpersons have made more efforts on top of the challenges encountered citing management and financial discipline as key works done.

“for the first time people holding these positions are technocrats, have the right qualifications and are well experienced in the fields they are hence dealing with issues in various institutions which the board overseas has been different to the past,” said Phiri.

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