Agribank chief executive Mr Sam Malaba has taken over the reins as Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president after the expiry of outgoing president and Barclays Bank Zimbabwe managing director Mr George Guvamatanga’s tenure.
Mr Guvamatanga stepped down at an annual general meeting held on Tuesday. Mr Malaba took over as president BAZ president under the banks lobby group’s rotational system.
The Barclays Bank managing director had risen to the helm of BAZ in 2012 after taking over from former president and FBC Holdings group chief executive Mr John Mushayavanhu.
MBCA Bank managing director Dr Charity Jinya has stepped in to replace Mr Malaba as BAZ vice president and will automatically become president when Mr Malaba runs his full term.
BAZ executive director Mr Sij Biyam confirmed the development yesterday saying that “there has been a change of guard (at BAZ), Mr Malaba has taken over (as president).”
Mr Malaba takes over stewardship of “a ship sailing unsteady waters” due to the liquidity crisis pervading the entire economy.
The difficult economic environment characterised by tight liquidity has spawned numerous non-performing loans, which Reserve Bank said stood at 16 percent at the end of last year.
Further, banks face a tough situation where each has to cater for their own funding requirements as they cannot lend to each other without the cover provided by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe through its lender of last resort function.
As such, banks in surplus do not lend to those in short positions to maintain a buffer to cater for their own obligations.
Mr Malaba also comes at a time the banking sector is still haunted by the ghosts of 2008 when depositors lost huge amounts of money when the country adopted the multi-currency after the local unit was decimated by hyperinflation.