VICTORIA FALLS — Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono labelled Obert Mpofu “a biblical Moses” for rescuing ZABG from the verge of closure due to under-capitalisation.
Report by Ndamu Sandu
In the bible, Moses took the Israelites from the bondage of Pharaoh and Joshua and ensured that they reached the Promised Land, Canaan.
In his remarks while officially opening ZABG’s 23rd branch in Victoria Falls on Friday, Gono said Mpofu’s investment came at a time the bank was on the brink of closure as both RBZ and government had no capacity to rescue the bank to meet the US$12,5 million prescribed minimum capital due to cash constraints.
Mpofu’s intervention through his family investment vehicle, Trebo & Khays, came a few weeks before the expiry of the extended deadline given by Gono for undercapitalised banks to find suitors.
Two undercapitalised banks, Royal and Genesis, eventually surrendered banking licences after failing to meet the capital thresholds.
Gono said ZABG, which was formed in 2005 through an amalgamation of three failed banks—Trust, Royal and Barbican—had been conceived as a Biblical Noah’s Ark to provide shelter to those troubled.
“The new investors ZABG are not just the biblical Moses. ZABG itself was established to become Noah’s Ark in the sense that those who were in trouble needed shelter and like Noah’s Ark, ZABG provided that shelter,” Gono said. “The Moses of ZABG is there to represent the new captain.”
He said it was the “first time an institution that six months ago was facing an uncertain future is sitting at the pinnacle of a very bright future, thanks to their Moses”.
Mpofu’s second name is Moses.
Gono said a verification exercise to vet Mpofu established that his investment in the bank were fruits of his labour.
It was not Gono alone who showered praises on Mpofu as traditional groups that performed at the function extolled the virtues of one of the country’s wealthiest politicians.
The function itself was attended by over 200 delegates who feasted the night away at a lodge owned by Mpofu. Other than chiefs, executives of parastatals and quasi-government bodies that fall under Mpofu’s ministry attended the official opening.