Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: NBC Boss' Fate Soon

Grahamstown, South Africa — THE Board of Directors of NBC Limited will anytime from now announce the fate of the Bank's Managing Director, Lawrence Mafuru, who went on forced leave two months ago to pave way for investigations into allegations of irregularities against NBC Executive Management.

The Chief Executive of Barclays Africa and Head of Africa Group Strategy, Mr Kennedy Bungane, said here on Monday Evening that the investigations had been completed."Independent investigations have been accomplished and the report forwarded to the board for the last decision. I talked to the board chairman who was out of the country and he told me that he would be back this week.

"He'll shortly announce the decision, we want this matter to reach conclusive end," stated Mr Bungane on the sidelines of the on going 16th annual Highway Africa conference held here at Rhodes University. ABSA Group bought majority shares in NBC in April 2000 and formed the current NBC.

Absa Group owns 55 per cent, Government of the United Republic of Tanzania 30 per cent and International Finance Cooperation owns 15 per cent. Absa Group is a subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC. Mr Bungane explained that the decision for Mafuru's forced leave was a mutual one between involved parties to ensure fair and independent investigations.

"We avoided feelings of interference and influence peddling that's why we agreed he should go for the leave in order to pave way for fair and independent investigations," he stressed. Pressed to hint on the report of the investigations, Mr Bungane noted that interests of all parties had been protected.

"We've done these investigations in the interest of all parties; the bank, Mr Mafuru, our customers. This is not of any interest to other company," he commented.When announcing the decision of forced leave, the Bank Chairman, Dr Mussa J Assad, said the board had received allegations of irregularities against NBC Executive Management.

"NBC is a reputable and trusted bank for best practice and good governance. A proper investigation has been initiated on this matter. The board has therefore decided to put Mr Lawrence Mafuru, the NBC Managing Director, on leave during the investigation period. This is expected to be completed shortly." He was quoted as saying.

Mr Mafuru was appointed NBC Managing Director on June 1, 2010. He succeeded Christo de Vries from South Africa. He is a Certified Chartered Banker from the Chartered Institute of Banking (UK) and a Certified Treasury Practitioner - ACI Markets.

Meanwhile Mr Bungane has said that NBC Ltd and Barclays Bank Tanzania will continue to operate separately as alignment process within Barclays Group continues. "They will remain with separate management, staff and operations as it is the case in Botswana where there's Absa Bank and Barclays.

We're still in alignment process within the bank and there're other procedures to follow before we regroup the banks," he explained. NBC is ranked third among 45 registered commercial and financial institutions in the country.It has 1,387 employees, about 500,000 customers, 302 ATMs and 52 branches.

Barclays Bank Tanzania which is 100 per cent owned by Barclays Group has 22 branches, 41 ATMS strategically located countrywide, 457 employees and over 110 customers.

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