FORMER Zimnat MD Oliver Mtasa has taken over chairmanship of Afre Corporation in a move widely seen as in keeping with the National Social Security Authority (Nssa)’s plans to have non-executive and independent chairpersons representing its interests on boards of companies the fund controls.
Mtasa takes over from respected corporate lawyer Innocent Chagonda.
A well-placed source this week told businessdigest this week Nssa was looking at appointing a chairman from the current Afre board and would confine its search “internally”.
“We are not looking outside the current board. We are confident that Mtasa can take over from Chagonda when he steps down. He has a wealth of experience and understands the business in and out,” said a source earlier this week.
Mtasa is set to take over the reins in June when Chagonda officially steps down as board chairman upon the completion of his term at the company’s annual general meeting to be held on June 4.
Mtasa was appointed chairman at a board meeting in the capital on Wednesday.
This is largely in line with Nssa’s plans to replace members seconded to chair three of its subsidiaries’ boards with independent directors, as the companies concerned have recovered and are on a growth path.
The chairpersons seconded by Nssa have to step down by June 30 to pave way for new independent board chairpersons.
The move is in line with a board resolution stipulating that directors seconded by Nssa to chair boards have to step down. However, Nssa directors –– who sit on the boards of subsidiaries, associates and those where the authority has some shareholding –– will not be affected by the directive.
Chagonda, who chairs Afre, and Joseph Kanyekanye who also chairs Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) and Capital Bank, will soon be replaced.
Chagonda also chairs the Nssa board.
“Chagonda was appointed by Nssa as an interim caretaker chairman to stabilise the organisation given its significant shareholding in Afre Corporation, a role which Chagonda ably executed,” Afre said in a statement.
Under his stewardship, the group conducted a successful rights issue to capacitate subsidiary companies that needed recapitalisation, namely Tristar Insurance, FMRE Property & Casualty (Zimbabwe), FMRE Property & Casualty Botswana as well as FMRE Life and Health.
The respective businesses are now “geared to unlock value and operate at maximum capacity”.
“During his tenure as chairman, the group also posted profits for the first time since dollarisation moving from a loss-making position to one of a profit of US$9,5 million for the financial year ended December 31 2012, amongst other achievements. Mr Chagonda is confident that he leaves Afre Corporation in a strong position and with capable executive leadership to take the company to the next level,” the company said.
Mtasa is a chartered accountant with a Bachelor of Accountancy (Honours) degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He is also a holder of a Masters degree in Business Administration from the same institution, and is a non-executive director for Art Corporation and sits on several other boards.
Other Nssa board members seconded to companies where the authority has shareholding such as Rosa Dube (RTG), David Mutambara (CBZ Holdings) and Chris Hokonya (ZB Financial Holdings and Afre) will remain on the boards.