Happiness Zengeni and Martin Kadzere
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe does not have any “adverse information” against Mr Gilbert Muponda but the businessman, just like any other person, will undergo a normal vetting process should he decide to apply for a banking licence, acquire a significant shareholding or be appointed a director in a financial institution.
Mr Muponda, the co-director of collapsed ENG Asset Management was arrested in 2003 together with Mr Nyasha Watyoka on allegations of swindling the firm of ZW billion. The firm was placed under voluntary liquidation in 2003 while Mr Muponda — who fled the country for Canada — was specified a year later.
His partner, Mr Watyoka remained behind facing the trial but was freed in 2011 by the court for lack of evidence
Mr Muponda was de-specified in 2011, meaning he regained legal status to conduct business in the country. He was also cleared by Interpol.
In response to a request by Mr Muponda in which he sought clearance of his name, RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya said while the central bank does not issue clearance letters, it had no “adverse information” against him.
“Kindly note that the Reserve Bank does not issue clearance letters,” said Dr Mangudya. “Vetting for fitness and probity by the Reserve Bank is usually done on application for licensing, on acquiring a significant shareholding and application for appointment as a director or senior manager for a banking or micro- finance institution.
“However, in the event of you submitting an application to us in respect of any of the aforementioned scenarios, then you will be subjected to fitness and probity vetting.”
Mr Muponda joined NMB Bank as trainee corporate finance officer while waiting for university results. He was promoted in just six months and rose to be the youngest manager to head the NMB corporate finance team.
He was also the youngest member of the team that listed Econet Wireless on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and was part of the team that structured and raised funding for Zimbabwe’s biggest privatisation transaction — acquisition of the controlling stake by a management consortium in Cotton Company of Zimbabwe.
Mr Muponda structured funding for three ZSE-listed employee share ownership schemes. He moved to TN Financial Services as the youngest director responsible for private equity and project finance before he left to co-found ENG Capital, a niche financial services firm. He led the growth and expansion of ENG Capital Group.
In 2007, he formed Gilbert Muponda Research Institute — GMRI Capital — which focuses on financial, economic and political research.
In 2008, he co-founded 3MG Media, which is a new media venture offering online news distribution, web hosting, web design, social networking and client online presence strategy development.
Currently, he is developing 3MG Media brand.