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The board of directors at Barclays Bank Botswana is said to have extended the work contract of the bank’s managing director - Reinette van der Merwe.
The board Chairman Oduetse Motshidisi on Friday confirmed the extension of the contract, but remained cagey on the time frame and other details.
He however said that the board has decided on a short term extension to the contract of the outgoing managing director to facilitate a smooth handover process.
“The Board of Barclays Bank of Botswana Limited is responsible for the appointment of the Bank’s Managing Director. The recruitment of the MD’s successor is in progress. At the appropriate time the board will make an announcement regarding the new MD,” stated Motshidisi.
While Motshidisi could not shed light on the exact period of the new contract, Sunday Standard has been informed that it will run for six months.
“The five year contract ends at the end of this month, but the board has since decided to prolong her stay”, said a source that works at Barclays house and is close to the board.
Despite Motshidi’s assertion on replacement, industry players see the extension as a reflection of the bank’s lack of succession plan.
The imminent departure of der Merwe comes at a time when the central bank has been pushing commercial banks to consider localizing their top posts. Barclays Bank Botswana was once led by local Aupa Monyatsi on acting basis before the arrival of Van der Merwe.
In late July 2018, Barclays Botswana’s mother company - Absa Group said that that the regulator in Botswana made it very clear to the bank that there is definitely a preference to localise the appointments rather than bringing foreign nationals
“We are in the process to make this appointment and hopefully we will make a replacement in time. We are looking for local talent in Botswana, we also have talent like Aupa Monyatsi who is based here at our Johannesburg centre and have done exceptionally well and he continues to grow. Aupa is very talented,” said Peter Matlare - Absa Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
The locals who previously held the position were prematurely booted out due to various controversies.
Should Monyatsi tick all the required boxes for the managing director position, he will not be new to the industry nor to the Bank.
At the time of his departure to South Africa, Monyatsi had been with the Bank for 10 years, during which he has held various senior roles, including that of Head of Performance, Chief Operations Officer and interim Managing Director.