Prosper Ndlovu, Business Editor
PROFESSIONAL malpractice and corrupt dealings are major drawbacks to economic progress and Zimbabweans need to embrace integrity for the country to achieve an upper middle-income status by 2030, an official said yesterday.
Speaking during the launch of the Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) chapter of the Zimbabwe West Union Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Bulawayo, head of the organisation Mr Clever Dick said meaningful economic transformation requires adherence to prudent business practices at individual level and a commitment to serving the nation and God.
He said ASI was enthused by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision 2030, which is anchored on the desire for a better economy and improvement of livelihoods for all people.
“As we look at the economic challenges we face today, they are not mainly to do with economics but with ethics and values. If you read papers and watch news, evidence of business and professional malpractice are the order of the day,” said Mr Dick.
“Even people whom we look at and think of as women and men of integrity, have dipped their fingers in corruption and other vices, an indication of a deep problem that can only be offset by a change that authors ethical, normative and spiritual dynamics.
“It is critical for us to appreciate that for the economy to thrive we must all move in one accord in line with a common vision. We need to move and manage our business and professional practices to suit the new economic vision.”
Mr Dick said ASI, as an organisation with keen interest on business matters, was declaring its presence in the market with the desire to assist the country to weed out societal ills that negatively affect economic development. He urged businesspeople within the church, to take the lead in economic reconfiguration.
“The greatest want for us is that we are not afraid to stand up against corruption of all forms and underhand dealings. We need men and women who are prepared to contribute to the fortunes by not working hard but ethically and with commitment, mindful of the fact that we are not accountable to man but God himself,” he said.
“We encourage business professionals present here to transact in a business environment that celebrates integrity. It is us who can reconfigure our mindsets so that our economy can thrive. As we gather here we want to celebrate the birth of a new culture of a clean business, driven by men and women who are committed to do things right.”
Bulawayo Provincial Minister of State, Judith Ncube, officially launched the organisation and condemned rampant ethical violations in the market, which has seen some businesses manipulating the poor in order to maximise profits through unjustified pricing.
She also said Government was taking appropriate steps to protect consumers from exploitation by unscrupulous businesses.
Senior SDA church leaders and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) officials attended the event.
ASI is a brainchild of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and seeks to bring all business people, professionals and entrepreneurs together to find ways of assisting the economy considering the obtaining challenges in the country.
Mr Dick said his organisation was also keen to assist members tap into various opportunities across sectors so as to boost domestic production including creating market networks and critical engagements.
“Through this chapter we hope to exchange ideas, which are vital to our business environment, premised on integrity, determination and ethical conduct. We will also through this platform create a network where we work together to achieve goals. We will also want to seek and experience God’s love in our own ways and share it with those we encounter in everyday life,” said Mr Dick.