Zambia: Bank of Zambia Orders Top Zim Banker George Manyere to Exit Mybucks

18 January 2021

The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has ordered a top Zimbabwean banker, George Manyere to exit from both controlling shareholding and directorship in the fintech company MyBucks after violating banking rules.

The Brainworks Capital Management founder, but now former managing director and chief investment officer of the equity firm, allegedly violated banking regulations in the neighboring country.

A letter seen gleaned by Business, and signed by the BoZ director of non-bank financial institutions supervision, Freda Tamba shows that problems have been brewing for the top banker since September 2020.

The BoZ believes Manyere's actions and his counterpart, Barkat Ali were detrimental to the stakeholders of MyBucks Zambia after the duo allegedly guaranteed for a sum of US$10 million in favour of Ever Prosperous in exchange for an asset purportedly valued at US$5 million that was to be acquired at a later date.

"The view of the Bank is that the transaction was irrational and failed to satisfy the requirement that it was done in the ordinary course of business of MyBucks. These actions constitute unsafe and unsound practices as defined by section 2 of the Banking and Financial Services Act (BFSA)," said Tamba in the letter.

The BoZ, therefore, found Manyere; "not to be fit and proper to be a shareholder and director" of a financial services provider.

The decision was implemented basing on section 41 (2) of the BSFA which empowers the Bank to remove a person from office, if it considers that its requirements have been breached.

Accordingly, MyBucks Zambia is expected to dispose of its 45% shares to Xtenda, which if approved by BoZ, is expected to provide for an orderly divestment of shareholding in the company.

Meanwhile, Ecsponent Ltd will dispose of its entire 25% shareholding in MyBucks Zambia while MyBucks SA will sell 20% and remain with 45% shareholding among other transfers.

"After all the procedures, this means that your shareholding in MyBucks Zambia will be reduced to 40.9% through MyBucks SA," added Tamba.

Contacted for comment on the developments could Manyere neither acknowledge nor dismiss the allegations.

"I cannot comment on confidential matters from the Regulator (Bank of Zambia) and in my decades long banking career, I address any issues of a regulatory nature directly with the Regulator," he said.

The BoZ did not respond to e-mailed questions on the matter at the time of publishing.

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