Report on new RBZ chief completed

Ngoni Chanakira

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Board of Governors have completed their recommendations report for a substantive RBZ boss and sent it to Finance and Economic Development minister Herbert Murer

wa en route to President Robert Mugabe.


Insiders this week said it was now up to the president to appoint the individual to replace Leonard Tsumba. Mugabe has the final say on the appointment of a substantive governor.


The jockeying for the influential position has heated up lately with prominent bankers being lobbied from different quarters such as financial institutions and the ruling Zanu PF party. Bankers believed to have any links with the major opposition Movement for Democratic Change have been ruled completely out of the race.


The sources said it was highly likely that current acting RBZ governor Charles Chikaura would land the top post because he had “already tested the waters”.


They said Chikaura was a board favourite, hence the decision to allow him to continue in an acting capacity for an extended period.


“He is being groomed for the top job,” a source said.


They said Jewel Bank chief executive officer Gideon Gono was the favourite within banking circles.


They said Gono, however, preferred to stay put at the Jewel Bank in order to “help with fuel procurement assignments” given to him by Mugabe.


Gono is the kingpin broker of the country’s fuel deals and always accompanies Mugabe whenever there is a fuel hunt. The Jewel Bank chief has been very evasive on the issue, saying he did not enjoy “blowing horns in newspapers”.


The sources said a “dark horse” in the race was Metropolitan Bank chairman Enock Kamushinda who was a favourite of the ruling Zanu PF camp.


Kamushinda wears several influential hats and chairs the Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Ltd group.


The banker also travels regularly with Mugabe, especially on visits to Malaysia where Metropolitan has clinched major business deals including evasive lines of credit.


An indigenous business proponent Kamushinda is actively involved in tackling land distribution issues – at the heart of Zanu PF politics.