THE World Bank says the new Constitution has put Zimbabwe back on the road to economic recovery as its promotion of transparency and accountability would help to boost investor confidence and encourage inflows of much needed funds. Speaking at the Southern Africa Association of Accountants 14th annual conference held in Nyanga on Saturday, World Bank representative Mr Daniel Domelevo said the Constitution was clear on issues to do with public finance management.
"The new Constitution has come up with principles to guide financial management. It is clear on issues to do with financial management and procurement which provides accountability and transparency," he said.
"When you are transparent and accountable, you attract funding which is what Zimbabwe needs at the moment. I am happy to say that Government took some of the recommendations made by the World Bank in 2001 and enshrined them in the Constitution. This shows that Government is serious about turning around the economy of this country."
Mr Domelevo said transparency was important in any society because if people were told how their money was being used, it would avoid speculation which could have negative consequences such as civil disobedience and corruption.
He said it also brought about better performance as one could not be transparent about inefficiencies without demonstrating how he or she was resolving them.
"It is critical that governments work to establish greater trust between themselves and their constituents; this should be one of the highest priorities for national leaders and public officials. To establish such trust, it is important that governments provide accurate and complete information on expenditures and transactions, in order to demonstrate accountability and stewardship, and to reinforce their own credibility.
"This means providing clear and comprehensive information regarding the financial consequences of economic, political, and social decisions," he said.
He added that the Zimbabwean Government had been compiling annual financial statements since 2011 which was contributing to the improvement of investor confidence in the country as people outside Zimbabwe had closed their eyes and ears and didn't want to notice the changes that were happening in the Government.
Mr Domelevo urged accountants to work with Government in coming up with solutions to the economic challenges instead of pointing fingers when things do not go right.
"We should stop sitting on the fence criticising but it would be good if we send proposals to Government and create Public Private Partnerships that will assist in solving the problems Government is dealing with," he said.
"Instead of the Auditor General and Accountant General's offices recruiting many workers to oversee Government accounts, why not use the private ones already available through PPPs and create a win-win situation for all?"
He said the World Bank was doing its part in mobilising resources and accountants should put in their expertise for the changes in the way public funds were being handled to be noticed.
Speaking at the same event, SAAA president Mr Farai Masabana said most of their accountants were already employed in the public sector and this strategically placed them to assist Government in turning around the economy.
"We already have many accountants in the public sector and we want to come in handy and support the initiatives put in place by Government. We urge our accountants to participate so that our economy and the country as a whole will prosper," he said.
He said SAAA had programmes that cater for public accounting and the association was working with accounting boards to make sure that accountants offer the necessary help to the Government.
"We want to make sure that our accountants are ethical in their behaviour so that they are also able to meet regional and international standards," he said.