Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean government has directed all local companies that were registered before February 22, 2020, to re-register with the Registrar of Companies within a period of 12 months.
The directive is in line the new Companies and Other Business Act [Chapter 24:31] which came into effect in the first quarter of 2020.
The Act gave companies up to March 2021 to complete the new registration process or risk being struck off Companies Register.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe, Deputy finance minister, Clemence Chiduwa, confirmed the development but referred further questions to the justice and industry ministries. Chiduwa said:
Yes, I can confirm that that the new Companies Act requires all companies to re-register, but I cannot comment on that because the registration of companies falls under the ministry of justice and their operations fall under the industry ministry. So those are the rightful ministries to comment on that matter.
The new Act repeals the old Companies Act, which was crafted on April 1, 1952, and incorporated provisions of the Private Business Corporations (PBC), encouraging small to medium enterprises to register and be recognised as players in the market.
The Act is premised at curbing shortcomings in the manual registration process through the introduction of electronic registration.
The re-registration exercise is said to be an administrative process aimed at establishing a new and updated register of companies so that inactive companies do not appear on the updated companies register.
Meanwhile, in a bid to beat the deadline, company owners applied en masse for new Certificates of Incorporation worsening the chaos at the Registrar of Companies’ Office which reportedly ran out of a special paper needed to print Certificates of Incorporation.
One anonymous businessman accused the Registrar of Companies’ office of “poor planning” saying they should not have directed the process when the office has inadequate resources.
The new Act also stipulates that shelf or shell companies that do not file returns on the anniversary of their incorporation shall be removed from the register.