I WOULD like to thank you for highlighting the problems afflicting the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG). This bank is a national project and any vices that we as employees see should be exposed.
We are aware that the executi
ves at the bank are inviting you for lunch at Imba Matombo to dine and implore you to stop writing news on ZABG. It is not uncommon for the press to be invited for lunch meetings, but this smacks of ulterior motives.
We know that you are incorruptible and the CFX story you broke is testimony to this. However, until the ZABG executives correct the way they run the business, your paper should continue doing this good job.
Let me hasten to say that the Reserve Bank governor had a good motive when he set the bank up. However, he made the mistake not to foresee that some individuals within the executive he appointed have selfish interests and a passion to build empires, combined with a warped sense of priorities.
The worst culprit is the human resources department. Take for instance the fact that the bank’s chief dealer has no company car to date, five months after the bank opened, yet staff in a lower grade in the administration department use a Mercedes Benz. He was recently paid around $12 million for use of his personal car, which amount the bank could have saved.
The head of international banking has not been allocated a vehicle and is shuttled from one pool car to the next. There is only one car issued to the sales team, yet almost everyone in human resources has a vehicle.
Another problem that the bank has to contend with are the salary disparities. Even though the bank tries to shield these figures, we can always see them whenever we want. How can someone justify a head of department getting $159 million per month and a teller earning $4 million?
The solution to ZABG’s problems is in management and staff pulling together in one unified direction, with a strong leader. Our CEO should be strong in charting and articulating the company’s mission and values. He has failed governor Gideon Gono on the issue of Lorimak as this is a violation of basic corporate governance.
How about the reputational risk that the bank has suffered in the process. It is sad that employees are seeing daily the things that they were seeing when they were under the employ of the banks that collapsed but could not do anything. It is these same issues that led to the collapse of Trust Bank et al.
Amazingly, we have a risk department. I don’t know what risk they are currently measuring.
Maybe the governor should intervene to save his noble project.
Lastly, the executives will not achieve whatever objectives they have unless they manage the covert tussles and powerful undercurrents of politics.
* Indeed, I met with ZABG executives last Friday at a city centre hotel and not at Imba Matombo. However, the issue of our coverage of ZABG was never discussed during the lunch meeting. — Editor.