Two months after her father, Robert was pushed out of power, the Empower Bank whose board of Directors include former, Bona Mugabe, has been declared illegal.
The development is set to see some of the directors removed.
A cabinet minister says the highly celebrated launching last year was illegal. The bank was opened in a flashy ceremony that saw Bona being suddenly catapulted to the board.
Empower Bank was launched without an operating licence; the state media has established that it is not even registered with the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe at present.
Authorities are now regularising documentation to facilitate its opening, The Sunday Mail reports.
It is reported that the bank’s board will now be re-examined, with those who do not meet appointment criteria facing the boot.
Board members are Mr Raymond Njanike (chair), Dr Judith Kateera, Mr William Chaitezvi, Mr Wilson Gwatiringa, Mrs Bona Mugabe-Chikore, Mr Wellington Zengeza, Ms Helena Kumirai and Mrs Josephine Chikaka.
Women and Youth Affairs Minister Sithembiso Nyoni told The Sunday Mail, “Empower Bank, when I looked at it, was not really ready for launch. I (discovered) that it was not registered with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. You can’t launch an unregistered bank.
“I think they launched anticipating approval would be swift. But (the bank was launched) without registration; that’s all I’m saying. So, we can’t really call it a bank. Banks have to be approved by the RBZ and then get a banking certificate.
“Empower Bank still has a lot to do; that’s why we haven’t included it in our 100-day plan. The bank will be launched and start operating as soon as relevant processes are taken care of, for instance, making sure the board is balanced and complying with banking regulations.
“Regarding the board; we are yet to look at their CVs as read against the mandate of the bank. If the board members meet all criteria, they will continue as they are.”
An RBZ official who preferred anonymity said Empower Bank was yet to secure relevant approvals.
“In line with the licensing framework and Micro Finance Act (Chapter 24:29), the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe considered the application for a deposit-taking micro finance licence for Empower Bank Limited. A deposit-taking micro finance licence will be issued once all the licensing requirements have been satisfied,” said the official.
“A pre-opening inspection will be conducted to assess the institution’s readiness to open doors to the public. The institution will open doors to the public upon authorisation by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”
Then First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe launched Empower Bank in October 2017, saying it was capitalised to the tune of US$2,5 million.
The bank will finance youth enterprises.
In 2017, the Zanu-PF Youth League said Government should look into reports that the G40 cabal wanted to fund its divisive and criminal agenda via the micro-financier.
Minister Nyoni said of this: “We haven’t gone into it yet to see who has benefited from what and how they benefited. That’s why I am taking my time before I launch it; to make sure I am launching something that is credible and transparent.”
– The Zimbabwean