Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Zimbabwe Companies Registry goes digital

by Staff reporter
24 May 2022 at 07:18hrs | Views
THE Registrar of Companies has gone digital in a move that is set to plug loopholes in the system and curb the fraudulent grabbing of companies and properties by criminals.

The new electronic system and data base has since been installed and a test-run starts this week while selected stakeholders are being invited to undergo familiarisation training.

Cases of individuals who grab properties of deceased people of foreign origin using forged company registration papers are on the increase and the latest development is set to end the lawlessness.

Most business people register their properties in the names of their companies and criminals were taking advantage of the outdated manual filing system at the Companies Registry to grab assets through fraudulent CR14 forms.

Permanent Secretary for Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabiza said the electronic system was part of a raft of measures to curb corruption.

Government was also tightening control over change of company directors among other measures.

"The Companies Registry has computerised. We have been working with a company called 23rd Centuries to computerise. We start super-user training this week. We will also start a pilot run with selected stakeholders," Mrs Mabhiza said.

"If we fully computerise, fraud at the office will be a thing of the past. We also need to tighten control over change of directors, shareholders and the power of attorney for transfers."

Mrs Mabiza said computerisation was also underway at the Deeds Office although a number of processes were still outstanding.

The Companies Registry is important for any business entity and it determines whether Zimbabwe is a good business destination for any entrepreneur.

It determines how cost effective and efficient a nation is in terms of business operations.

The main role of the Registrar of Companies is to provide for the constitution, incorporation, registration, management and internal administration of companies and winding up of companies and private business corporations.

It also enables the voluntary registration of other business entities; and to ensure the removal of defunct companies and private business corporations by re-registering all existing companies and private business corporations.

Last year, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, seeing a flood of fraud and corruption cases involving fake or stolen title deeds, or duplicate deeds, embarked on a series of awareness campaigns at the Deeds Office and the Companies Registry to help curb these crimes.

Several people have been victims of fraudsters who steal title deeds and property owners' identity documents, then sell land they do not own.

Some companies that own properties have been grabbed using forged CR14 documents.

ZACC did not disclose the total number of fraud and corruption cases they have handled, but the commission indicated that the cases are many and at various stages of investigation.

Other investigating arms like the police are separately investigating related cases, an indication that the crimes are now prevalent.

Police are on record as stating that over 100 people filed fraud reports related to the Deeds and Companies Registries at CID commercial crimes department in the first quarter of last year alone.

Some cases are still under investigation while others have been sent to court for prosecution.

ZACC has also received fraud and corruption reports linked to the Companies Registry.

Source - The Herald