By Albert Dhafana
2 December 2021 was a great day for the human resources profession in Zimbabwe. The official body regulating the practice of human capital management in Zimbabwe was celebrating 60 years since its founding. The Institute of People Management of Zimbabwe (IPMZ) has come a long way from the early days when HR practitioners were known or referred to as personnel officers or managers. It was just a mere department then, mainly responsible for keeping personnel files and distributing wages, which mostly were paid as cash. Now, HR has evolved to be a strategic pillar in organisational development. The ambient and historical Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) was the venue for firstly the anniversary celebrations and secondly rewarding and awarding HR practitioners and organisations who have contributed in a great way to human capital development in Zimbabwe. Honourable Paul Mavhima, the Minister for Public Service, Labour and Social Services was the guest of honour representing the highest office on the land that of the President.
The awards were 60 in total, as a way to celebrate the IPMZ anniversary. All sectors of the economy were covered including public sector, private sector, non-governmental organisations sector and parastatals. The process of selection was made transparent as far as possible, with Select Research and Vali & Co. Chartered Accountants driving the nomination, analysing, scoring, assurance and validation. Nominations were done using peer to peer method, market intelligence, publicly available data as well as sector specific information gathering. This was all done to ensure that individuals and organisations who would eventually come out as winners have a demonstrable and well documented contribution to the human resource profession. This will include but not limited to employee wellness, recruitment and selection, reward mechanisms, training and development, dispute resolution. This should contribute to sustainability of organisations as well as growth and development of people, who are the most important assets of an organisation.
Mr. Albert Dhafana emerged the winner in the category of Best HR Manager NGO Sector. As the lead Human Resource person for the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), he is responsible for guiding and advising on human capital at the Secretariat and in dioceses in liaison with administrators. The HR office of ZCBC is also responsible for the administrative function as well as pensions administration. ZCBC through its commissions like Caritas, CCJP, Pastoral Centre, Health, Education, Social Communications and Lay Apostolate has managed to stand out as an employer of choice. There are thousands of people employed in diocesan institutions like schools, hospitals and training centres. Issues of staff welfare through the Roman Catholic Church Lay Employees Pension Fund, compliance with national laws through bodies like NSSA, ZIMRA and National Employment Councils are some of the notable achievements of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe. There are ongoing efforts to improve on dispute resolution, improved work place environment through a deliberate industrial relations policy. The Caritas Internationalis Management Standards for example emphasise on safe work places free from sexual and other forms of abuse as well as compliance with local and international standards.
The competition was stiff considering the vast NGO environment which also includes international organisations, community based organisations and other faith based organisations like Zimbabwe Council of Churches, UDACIZA and others. It was indeed a show of vote of confidence and trust in the work of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe. All our dioceses, institutions and many women and men working tirelessly in the Lord’s vineyard share in this accolade. To God be the glory.