via 5 lead pack to replace Gono | The Herald December 17, 2013 by Golden Sibanda
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Thursday presents the 2013-14 National Budget statement amid growing speculation on who will be the next Reserve Bank Governor. Dr Gideon Gono ended the second of his five-year terms last month and the nation awaits President Mugabe’s appointment of a successor.
A number of names have been thrown around in discussions among members of the public who are keen to know who Minister Chinamasa will work with in providing direction to Zimbabwe’s economic affairs for the next five years.
It has been reported that Dr Gono attempted to have his time at the helm of the apex bank extended by at least a year, but Government is said to have declined the request arguing that a law could not be changed to suit the plans of an individual.
And with memories still fresh about the tumultuous and sometimes hope-filled period Zimbabwe went through during the ex-Governor’s term of office, there is a lot of interest on who will take over the reins.
The interest is further fuelled by the fact that the country has embarked on an ambitious development strategy for 2013-2018 called the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).
Getting the right mix of fiscal and monetary policies will be important to the successful implementation of Zim-Asset.
A handful of names have been thrown around as likely candidates to take over stewardship of the bank, with CBZ Holdings chief executive Dr John Mangudya believed to lead the race and Mr Andrew Bvumbe from the Finance and Economic Development Ministry among the frontrunners.
Dr Mangudya has been CEO and executive director of CBZ Holdings since 2012.
He was managing director and executive director of one of Zimbabwe’s best-performing banks between 2009 and 2012.
He worked for the RBZ from 1986 to 1996 and the African Export-Import Bank between 1996 and 1999 before joining CBZ Bank in 2000.
Dr Mangudya obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe; as well as a Doctorate in Philosophy in Business Administration from Washington International University.
Already in charge of a veritable number of Government accounts at CBZ, Dr Mangudya’s takeover would be like going to a second home, only that this would come with added new challenges and responsibilities.
But it is a domain he is conversant with.
Some people might be uneasy about the fact that Dr Gono also hailed from CBZ Bank.
This could give rise to the impression that the institution could morph into Government’s primary source of top-level expertise, thus leading to somewhat murky relations between the Central Bank and CBZ.
Riding on his qualifications and experience, Mr Bvumbe is a strong bet to take over.
A former staffer of the International Monetary Fund, he presently heads the Aid and Debt Management Office in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Mr Bvumbe started his career with the RBZ in 1981 as an assistant economist and was appointed assistant director in the bank’s Economic Research and Policy Division in 1998.
Between 1998 and 2000 he was seconded to the IMF as an economist in the Africa region department.
Thereafter — from 2000 to 2004 — he was at the Privatisation Agency of Zimbabwe as its director before he moved to the Ministry of
Finance and Economic Development as the Principal Director for Economic Development and Restructuring.
He was appointed Permanent Secretary for Economic Development of that ministry.
Mr Bvumbe holds Bachelors and Master of Science degrees in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe.
However, a good number of people who some might describe as rank outsiders are also in with a shot and could make the leap to head the country’s top banking job.
These include former RBZ Deputy Governor Mr Edward Mashiringwane, Kingdom Holdings founder Mr Nigel Chanakira and Barbican Bank founder Dr Mthuli Ncube.
There have been reports that Dr Gono has suggested Mr Mashiringwane as a possible successor.
Such an appointment would make sense within the context of continuity, though some may argue that they would want a substantial break from the Dr Gono era.
The downside to the possible appointments of Mr Chanakira and Dr Ncube pertains to the manner in which they lost control of the financial institutions they founded.
Mr Chanakira claimed his exit from a bank that personified his image more than anything else was an amicable one between him and fellow shareholders AfrAsia because he could no longer follow his rights in recapitalising the bank.
However, other reports indicated that he was forced out following a fall-out over a huge non-performing loan he facilitated for troubled IT firm, Valley Technologies.
Dr Mthuli came up with an innovative banking culture, but his ideas clashed with regulatory authorities — chief among them Dr Gono — and he was caught up in the web of the banking sector crisis that claimed the scalps of many banks in 2003-4. He is presently a vice president at the African Development Bank.
Former CBZ chief executive Mr Nyasha Makuvise is also not to be discounted, and FBC Holdings group chief executive Mr John Mushayavanhu, himself a past president of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, also has a legitimate claim to the job.
But who ultimately heads the bank will remain unknown until President Mugabe, long known to keep his cards close to his chest, finally reveals his hand.