FINANCE minister, Samuel Mumbengegwi has dropped former First Mutual Ltd chief executive officer, Norman Sachikonye, for Zanu PF strategist Chris Mutsvangwa in the establishment of the Zimbabwe Securities Commission, despite the former being shortlisted by industry, businessdigest has learnt.
According to information on hand, Sachikonye who was “overwhelmingly” recommended by a committee of market stakeholders in line with the Securities Commission Act fell out of Mumbengegwiâ€™s favour over unclear reasons when the minister appointed Mutsvangwa.
The commission comes barely three months after it was legally operational after government gazetted the relevant Act in May.
This week Mumbengegwi appointed technocrat and former First Life Medical Aid Society principal officer, Willia Bonyongwe to chair the commission tasked with overseeing operational and ethical issues at the currently buoyant stock market. She will be deputised by businessman and economic analyst Arthur Charamba.
In a press statement on Tuesday, Mumbengegwi said President Robert Mugabe had made approval for the new commissioners as per the requirements of the Securities Commision Act (Chapter 24:25) to assume office with immediate effect.
Bonyongwe, who is wife to the Central Intelligence Organisation director-general Happyton, will lead three commissioners Mutsvangwa, banker Martha Rukuni and former civil servant John Chikura.
Industry sources that spoke on condition of anonymity, however said the former ambassador to Chinaâ€™s appointment was the latest sign of government patronage.
Sources said Mutsvangwa, a key player in President Mugabeâ€™s controversial presidential run-off re-election, was nominated by the Reserve Bank to safeguard government interests in the commission.
“Sachikonye who garnered more votes than Mutsvangwa has clearly been dropped from the commission possibly for lacking the political muscle,” said a source close to the developments.
“The minister however has exercised his powers to appoint him (Mutsvangwa) although there were reservations for his ascendancy. Being a hard-line politician, his decisions could be driven by the whims of Zanu PF leadership.”
After missing an initial deadline to make the appointments in June, the ministry told this paper that the minister had the “prerogative” to make appointments.
“The nomination committee only made recommendations to the ministerâ€¦Furthermore according to Article 5 subsection 2, the minister has the prerogative to decline recommendations submitted by the nomination committee,” said the ministry.
Earlier this year the Mumbengegwi appointed an interim committee that would identify possible commissioners in line with a provision in the Securities Commission Act.
Among those appointed to the committee were former Zimbabwe Stock Exchange chairman Bart Mswaka, Reserve Bank deputy governor Edward Mashiringwani, First Transfer Secretaries boss Campbell Musiwa, Bankers Association president John Mangudya and Association of Investment Managers representative, Tafadzwa Chinamo.
Efforts to get comment from either Mumbengegwi or Sachikonye were in vain at the time of going to press.
Meanwhile ZSE chief Emmanuel Munyukwi said that the formation of the new commission would lead to de-mutualisation and subsequent listing of the local bourse.
By Bernard Mpofu