Boardroom squabbles rock ICZ

Melody Chikono

A MAJOR dispute has erupted at the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) between the board and senior executives following the unceremonious dismissal of the chief executive officer, Oliver Guni, late last year which has been aggravated by the chairperson’s failure to release an audit report to the board, businessdigest can report.

The board chairperson has been accused of ignoring several calls by the finance and management committee to discuss the report at an emergency meeting.
Panganai Sanangurai (Allied Insurance managing director) chairs the ICZ board, deputised by Patrick Kusikwenyu (managing director at Sanctuary Insurance Company). In what could be a serious breach of corporate governance, last year the duo allegedly connived to dismiss Guni on allegations of financial irregularity and misappropriation of funds without proper evidence and with no approval from the whole board.

Sources close to the developments told businessdigest that the duo conspired to fire Guni on allegations whose evidence they did not provide to the board.\The decision, which was then contested by the other board members, has seen the ICZ pay a fortune to institute an audit, whose report was submitted a fortnight ago to the organisation but the executive has been holding onto it without sharing the details.

Guni’s term of office was supposed to end in May this year. He was appointed CE in May 2018.Businessdigest understands that the board then went on to instruct Sanangurai to substantiate his allegations by instituting an investigation, indicating that what he had done was unprocedural, with Guni remaining on full benefits until the conclusion of the investigations.

Sources said the bad blood among the trio emanates from their time at Regal Insurance (which has since been suspended) where Guni was the managing director from May 20012 to July 2016.

“These guys once worked together at Regal Insurance and it looks like they are taking their war to the ICZ boardroom with the two executives teaming up against Guni. This is not to say Guni is innocent, but one is only innocent until proven guilty. I must say personal feelings had the better of Sanangurai and without consulting the board he relieved Guni of his duties.

Upon learning of this, the board expressed their disappointment and instructed him to do it in a professional manner by having a proper audit. Initially he refused, but later agreed. Now that the audit results are out, one can only wonder why he has been holding on to them for the past two weeks,” said one source.
Sources also say Sanangurai, who never expected the board’s finance management committee to team up against him, could also have missed the terms of reference of his chairmanship.

ICZ acting CE Nicholas Sayi did not respond to questions yesterday, while Sanangurai previously denied the allegations.

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