Zim's Reserve Bank Places ReNaissance Bank Under Curatorship

RBZ governor Gideon Gono said in appointing Reggie Saruchera as curator for a period of six months, the central bank took the drastic decision to preserve the assets of RMB “and protect the stability of the financial system”.

The appointment of Saruchera as curator is the first since the use of multi-currencies. Gono has in the past said RBZ has no appetite for curatorship and said Thursday the move was designed to stop the contagion effect spreading in the banking sector.

This means that Saruchera will be in overall control at RMB and will manage the institution “in such a manner as he considers prudent and most likely to promote the interests of the institution”.

“Another consequence of placing ReNaissance Merchant Bank under the management of a curator is that the institution of all legal proceedings and the execution of writs, warrants, summons, etc is now stayed unless the High Court otherwise grants leave,” Gono said.

He said the bank will close its doors to the public on June 3 for a period of two weeks to facilitate Saruchera’s assumption of effective charge of the bank. The move is also designed to prevent the uncontrolled withdrawal of funds and assets of the bank.

RMB will reopen to the public on June 20.

Gono also announced the firing of some executives from board and senior management at RMB and its parent company ReNaissance Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL).

Those removed include RMB board chairman Lovemore Moyo, RFHL founder Patterson Timba and his trusted lieutenant Dunmore Kundishora; non executive director Robert Tindwa; Shepherd Shara, executive director Treasury and Structured Finance and head of Internal Audit, Shepard Muzivi. RBZ also banished manager Treasury Operations Norest Kwete; group accountant Tatenda Madzingo and group company secretary Lydia Timba.

RMB ran intro trouble after Indian businessman Jayesh Shah blew the whistle on Timba after the RMB founder failed to repay the money he had borrowed to recapitalize the bank.

An RBZ investigation unearthed serious breakdown of corporate governance where Timba and Kundishora run the company by passing the board and senior management.