The Herald, 9 July 2004
THE Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe says it will take a lead in restoring basic moral, ethical and professional values in society to counter dishonesty and corruption.
ICSAZ president Mr Underus Hove who was elected in May, said on Tuesday many people did not adhere to professional and ethical values espoused by ICSAZ and other professional organisations.
The same was true of many of the laws and regulations governing the society, he said.
“What causes that sought of behaviour?” he asked.
“Sometimes we tend to forget the basics in life. We have the laws, the regulations and the rules. However, these don’t work if society doesn’t have the right people with the right values and attitudes,” he said.
“I think we need to go back to the issue of values. That’s the issue I think we should focus on, particularly as professionals. Right values enabled people to manage themselves better in the work place, in the family, in the community and in society.
“Values for any professional included honesty, respect for others, helpfulness, respect for rules and a commitment to certain standards.
“Respect for other people is very important. When you have respect for other people, you minimise conflict in society,” he said.
LESSONS FOR TODAY
Originally founded in England in October 1891 as the Institute of Secretaries, ICSAZ changed its name to Chartered Institute of Secretaries in 1902 after being granted a Royal Charter. It later became the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administration with a Zimbabwean chapter. Such institutes operate under recognised professional ethics and values.
Just like ICSAZ, most professions have written down values and ethical standards that guide members’ professional conduct. As long as the values are maintained and reviewed on a regular basis, the profession remains in right standing.
Professional values are defined as the “guiding beliefs and principles that influence work and behaviour.” These include “a strong work ethic, dependability and responsibility, positive attitude, honesty and integrity, self-motivation, learning and growth, self-esteem and confidence.”
Officials in the public sector have always been accused of dishonesty and corruption, but the review by ICSAZ shows that corruption is a cancer in any given profession — public, private, parastatal, local government and the informal sectors. If all sectors would come up with professional values, this can do a lot towards eradicating corruption.