9 February 2018

Zimbabwe: Govt to Introduce Online Company Search Facility

Government is set to upload over 100 000 records on the Deeds and Companies' online search facility that is expected to transform the investment environment while allowing enquiries on the click of a button.

The computerisation of the online deeds and companies search and auditing of the manual files, coupled with the completion and placing before Parliament of a new Companies and Other Business Entities Bill, is expected to improve the overall efficiency in the department.

This is part of moves to improve access to proprietary rights information under the Ease of Doing Business reforms, which Government is implementing through putting in place the legislative framework and enabling regulations. Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the reforms dovetail with initiatives by Government to improve ease of doing business in Zimbabwe.

"As you may be aware, one of the key Government initiatives and national objective currently is the 100-day Rapid Result target introduced by His Excellency, the President. Under the Ministry's 100-Day Plan, the Department of Companies, Deeds and Intellectual Property is supposed to increase data upload on the Deeds and Companies online search facilities by at least an additional 100 000 records and to complete and place before Parliament a new Companies and Other Business Entities Bill."

Minister Ziyambi said the Companies Bill initiated under the Ease of Doing Business reforms, is still under consideration by the Legislative Drafting Department before it is tabled at a stakeholders' consultative workshop later this month.

"The expectation is that the Bill will come into law in the life of the current Parliament and should be before Parliament in early April. Let me commend the efforts of all departments involved in the Ease of Doing Business exercise and I urge you to continue in your endeavours to ensure that Zimbabwe becomes an attractive destination for investors," he said.

Companies, Deeds and Intellectual Property chief registrar Mr Fidelis Maredza said computerisation and a drive to increase awareness of proprietary rights will help improve ease of doing business.

"Our offices are only situated in Bulawayo and Harare and we are trying to improve access and one of the way of doing it is through computerisation. We are going to be online and that means anybody can have access wherever they are as long as they have a laptop. The same goes for e-conveyancing," he said.

Lawyers in Bulawayo had to appoint an agent for processes in Harare, but with computerisation, legal processes would be done online. The department also seeks to register 88 percent of lost documents by December 31. Mr Maredza said delays in the issuing of Title Deeds is mostly as a result of late processing at the Surveyor General's office.


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