HomeBusiness DigestMakoni, Zimuto bounce back at NMB

Makoni, Zimuto bounce back at NMB

FORMER NMB Bank directors Julius Makoni and Francis Zimuto have bounced back at the bank after the executives unceremoniously left the country in the wake of externalisation charges six years ago.

Sources say Zimuto is already at the bank while Makoni, who is now a bishop at the Anglican Church, returned from England last week.
NMB Bank directors –– Makoni, Mushore, Zimuto and Otto Chekeche –– left the bank in 2004 following allegations of externalising about Z$30 billion emerged against them.
An official with the bank confirmed that the two were back at the bank, although he could not disclose their positions.
This comes after another founding director and former deputy managing director of the bank James Mushore assumed the position of group chief executive officer.
The three are coming back at a time when the bank is expected to complete a capital raising and share placement with African Century Limited next week.
The team behind African Century is said to have extensive experience of banking, private equity and operational management. 
One of its principals, Jonathan Chenevix-Trench is a former chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley International as well as being a former chairman of Morgan Stanley’s regulated banks in both the United Kingdom and in Russia.
Analysts say the return of the three former directors could be in line with plans to reposition the bank to its former blue-chip status in the sector.
When reached for comment yesterday Mushore said Makoni is now a full time Anglican Bishop in Mutare and was not coming back to the bank full time.
Mushore said : “He (Makoni) will however be part of the bank in a non-executive capacity. Chekeche and Zimuto were not with the bank, but they come more often to the bank to visit friends.”
Insiders, however, said Zimuto had been with the bank for nearly three months now.
Commenting on whether banks should have been closed in 2004, Mushore said: “Look I am not a politician but certain things need to be said to set the record straight. You do not discipline a child with an axe”.
“Similarly where banks were alleged to have strayed out of their core business one must understand that in many cases they were looking to preserve shareholders equity.  Hyperinflation made savings of Zim dollars worthless. To preserve shareholder value any business had to invest in trading stock or other assets such as property and equities that could withstand the ravages of inflation,” said Mushore in an interview with businessdigest last week.
“This made many institutions very illiquid as they now had a mismatch of assets and liabilities- short term liabilities and long term assets.  The remedy should not have been to close them down but to give them support to match their book whilst at the same time pursing economic policies that managed inflation downwards as opposed to exacerbating it,” he said.

 

Paul Nyakazeya

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