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Zimuto back at NMBZ

In March, Zimuto had his specification lifted.
James Mushore, NMBZ chief executive officer confirmed that Zimuto had rejoined the group last month.
Zimuto was specified alongside other NMBZ directors — Mushore, Julius Makoni and Otto Chekeche — and skipped the country in 2004 after police indicated they wanted to arrest them on charges of externalising foreign currency.
The case later collapsed and the specifications were lifted.
Mushore bounced back at NMBZ as CEO last year while Makoni is now a bishop with the Anglican Church.
Zimuto’s return comes at a time the group is on a growth mode after it embraced African Century last year.
African Century now has 25% in NMBZ and together with the group is operating a leasing company, African Century Leasing which began operations in January.
Mushore told Standardbusiness that African Century Leasing is on a growth path and had written business worth US$3 million. NMBZ has 25% shareholding in African Century Leasing while the remainder is owned by African Century.
Mushore said the leasing company would help businesses retool their operations to plug the gap caused by the unavailability of lines of credit for lending to local businesses.
Local financial institutions are offering short-term loans at a time business requires long-term finance.
When African Century joined NMBZ last year, Mushore said the move would open the doors to international capital.
Last week, the NMBZ boss said the environment was not conducive for foreign investors.
“International lenders of capital look at the environment. Many of them want to see progress politically,” he said.
“While financial institutions may be attractive, there are things that are outside our control weighing us down.”
Mushore said every bank needed lines of credit but the push to open the windows to international capital was being hampered by the lack of clarity on the indigenisation issue.
“No one is against indigenisation but they (investors) want clarity. It is one thing that assists us in getting lines of credit,” Mushore said.
The leasing company is one of the four new units the group would want to add.
NMBZ is also mulling setting up an advisory services company, asset management firm and a stock broking firm. “On advisory services we are speaking to a number of people. We can buy an existing asset or grow organically,” Mushore said.

“Our economy is recovering. Companies need restructuring and retooling and there is an opportunity for advisory services.”

African Century joined NMBZ last year after underwriting the group’s US$10 million capital raising initiative to recapitalise the flagship arm, NMB Bank.

With a portfolio of investments in sub-Saharan Africa, principally in East and Southern Africa, African Century has two appointees, Jonathan Chenevix – Trench and James de la Fargue, on the NMBZ board.

In the outlook, Mushore sees growth and consolidation and new units would be added if the conditions permit.

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