Gwasira tipped to head ZABG


Godfrey Marawanyika

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s head of Business Continuity Stephen Gwasira is tipped to head the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG), which will come int

o effect at the beginning of next month.


The central bank has also selected the board members of the ZABG.


ZABG was formulated as part of the central bank’s Troubled Bank Resolution Strategy, which seeks to, among other things, restore stability in the financial sector.


Before this year’s restructuring at the central bank, Gwasira used to head the Banking and Supervision Surveillance department.


ZABG is composed of failed banks and indications are that seven of the currently distressed banks will be incorporated in it.


Gwasira was earlier this year charged with sorting out the mess at Turst Bank when it fell into liquidity-linked problems.


So far the central bank and the ZABG board have met three times. The board members include human resources consultant Richard Makoni, former Stanbic chairman Cornelius Sanyanga, Delta chief executive Joe Mutizwa, businessman Jonathan Kadzura, former Trust Bank marketing director and independent consultant Douglas Mamvura, prominent lawyer Lindsay Cook and a Mr Bhadella.


It was not immediately possible to ascertain the names of two other board members, one of whom was said to be a Harare-based female lawyer.

The appointments of both Gwasira and the board are set to be announced next year. Gwasira could not be reached for comment this week.


In January ZABG will start its operations as a loose amalgam with the troubled banks conducting business under their original titles.


The amalgamation of the banks to form a composite unit will only be achieved in the middle of 2006 at the earliest.


The arrangement will enable depositors to access their funds in the new year.


Three troubled banks — Trust, Time and Royal — are expected to reopen for business under the direction of curators who will now assume the title of administrators.


The administrators will in turn report to a board of directors of ZABG Ltd.

Trust Bank, which was put under curatorship in September, will be the first to reopen on January 1. Time Bank was put under curatorship last month while Royal closed its doors in August.


The two banks are expected to reopen for business later in the first quarter of next year. The fate of Barbican Bank, which was placed under curatorship in March, was not clear at the time of going to press.


All transactions will be conducted under the Trust Bank brand until all the banks falling under ZABGL have been merged into one single entity.


Conducting all transactions under the Trust Bank brand is an administrative and legal requirement to facilitate the opening of the bank and oversee the merger with other banks which will become divisions of ZABGL.

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