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SecZim mulls whistle-blower facility

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ZIMBABWE’S capital markets regulator is considering working with an independent consultancy firm as it plans to set up a whistle-blower and complaints facility which seeks to plug malpractices, The NewsHawks has learnt.

BERNARD MPOFU

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim) has since its formation investigated several cases of suspected price manipulation on the equities towards year-end as some companies seek to appease shareholders.

Market manipulation refers to artificial inflation or deflation of the price of a security. Also known as price manipulation or stock manipulation, it involves the literal manipulation of a financial market for personal gain. It involves influencing the behaviour of the securities which is not backed by market forces.

Gerald Dzangare, SecZim acting chief executive said plans are underway to promote transparency and accountability of publicly listed companies.

“We want the investor to be able to communicate to the regulator on any anomaly they find. We are working on an internet system. We are also looking on whether or not a third party can come in,” Dzangare said.

Some companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange like Masimba have subscribed to an independent whistleblowing service run by audit firm Deloitte. Under this service, stakeholders are encouraged to report theft, corruption, fraud and other inappropriate workplace behaviour.

SecZim is the regulator for capital markets and players such as the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, Victoria Falls Stock Exchange and the Financial Services Exchange, investment managers, investment custodians among others.

Capital markets provide a platform for the trading of securities such as shares in companies, debentures, government stock, among others, and they enable issuers of the securities to raise money or capital.

SecZim was established through the enactment of the Securities Act (Chapter 24:25). Section 3 of the Act provides for the establishment of the Securities and Exchange Commission which is the regulatory body for the securities and capital markets in Zimbabwe. Commissioners were appointed on 1 September 2008 whilst the secretariat was established in 2009.

The SecZim’s key functions include regulating trading and dealing in securities; to register, supervise and regulate securities exchanges; to license, supervise and regulate licensed persons; to encourage the development of free, fair and orderly capital and securities markets in Zimbabwe and to advise the government on all matters relating to securities and capital markets.

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