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NMB boss resigns

Kuda Chikwanda

NMB Holdings Ltd chief executive officer David Hatendi is leaving the troubled financial institution just three months after it emerged that the bank had

been defrauded of over US$6,3 million.

In a notice issued yesterday, NMB said Hatendi was leaving the bank at the end of this month to pursue personal interests.

“Mr Hatendi had intimated his desire to pursue disclosed personal interests at the beginning of 2007, but the discovery of the fraud necessitated that he oversee the attendant issues.

“Now that the issues are being handled by technical experts, the interim results having been published and with his interests requiring his personal attention, Mr Hatendi has sought, and been granted the board’s approval to leave on September 30 2007,” the notice read.

Hatendi assumed the reins at NMB in 2004 when its former directors — Julius Makoni, James Mushore, Otto Chekeche and Francis Zimuto — fled the country at the height of the banking crisis.

Before joining NMB, Hatendi was with the Merchant Bank of Central Africa (MBCA).

Recently, NMB Bank has been scurrying around to secure foreign exchange funding to plug the gap created when its assistant treasury manager, Shane Mandara, swindled the bank of US$6,3 million over a period of 23 months.

businessdigest revealed in August that NMB was talking to a potential investor who sources said was willing to pour US$7 million into the bank. The bank urgently requires the foreign currency to pay some of its depositors.

The true extent of the fraud is still unknown as forensic auditors from BCA Consulting (Pvt) Ltd are still searching the bank’s books for more fraudulent transactions. Sources say the amount could be more than US$7 million.

Initial investigations in May had put the fraud at US$4,7 million but the amount was revised to US$6,3 million after the investigators said they had discovered more transactions which Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) auditors had missed.

Confidential documents in the possession of businessdigest show that Mandara managed to get away with the fraud through a combination of falsified instructions and generation of unauthorised amendments to existing deal notes.

The fraud centred on exporters foreign currency remittances to the RBZ.

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