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Nhema defends ‘board coup’

Roadwin Chirara

ZIMBABWE Building Society (ZBS) founding director Francis Nhema says the recent restructuring, which resulted in the sacking of all board members was in line with the vision of the society. <

The restructuring has seen the departure of the Rukudzo Murapa-led board, paving the way for a new board chaired by Philip Mutasa.

“We are restructuring the building society and as you know most of those guys had been appointed by the Reserve Bank. We needed to put in place our own members,” said Nhema.

He said there was nothing sinister with the current management structure and the proposed changes to the society.

He said he was ready to inject the much-needed capital into the financial institution.

ZBS shareholding structure is made up of Realtime Computers, National Insurance Company of Zimbabwe, Fidelity Life, Continental Capital and Nicholas Vingirai’s Transnational Holdings.

ZBS was thrown into disarray in 1998 when it was exposed to fake Cold Storage Company agro-bills.

The central bank injected $400 million to save the society from collapse.

Plans by the central bank to privatise the society hit a brickwall after Nhema said he was prepared to pay back RBZ’s money.

The decision to return ZBS to Nhema raised eyebrows after RBZ had refused to hand back control of First National Building Society (FNBS) to its founding owners.

Nhema said the decision to hand back control of the society to its owners was above board.

He said the society had managed to pay back the required funds and it was the responsibility of the central bank to hand back control of the business as agreed.

“We paid back what was required of us and this was done above board. Really I don’t understand why people have to maintain so much interest in that,” said Nhema.

He said the failure of other bankers such as Samson Ruturi of FNBS to get back their society depended on their arrangements with the central bank.

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