Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Mohohlo rejects StanChart expat MD

Standard Chartered Bank Botswana (SCBB), the old lady of Botswana?s commercial banks, has been left with egg on the face after Bank of Botswana Governor, Linah Mohohlo, rejected the appointment of its new Managing Director, Lami Manjang, urging for a deeper localization programme.

Majang was to replace Neil Jones who left the 162-year-old SCBB for Standard Chartered Dubai at the close of last year.

The Bank of Botswana said on Friday that it rejected Majang?s appointment because it wants Botswana?s financial sector to be localized.

?The feeling is that there are many Batswana who can lead the bank,? a source said on Friday.

Standard Chartered came into the country in 1895 and it has never been led by a Motswana. It compares badly with its peers among them Barclays Bank Botswana which is led by Thuli Johnson, a citizen who is also gearing to localize the position of financial director. It also does not compare well with the First National Bank of Botswana which is led by Danny Zandamela. Although Zandamela is South African, the key people who are working directly under him are Batswana.

But with SCBB, the only senior Motswana face is that of human resource manager who deals with labour disputes in cases of strikes.

Manjang who flew into the country at the beginning of the year has been forced to relocate to Uganda.
SCBB chairman, Vincent Seretse, confirmed that the proposed appointment of Majang hit a dead-end as the central bank insisted on serious localization at SCBB.

?I don?t think the fellow will be appointed. He is not even here. He has moved on to Uganda.

?The true sentiment of the Bank was that they wanted serious localization and that is now the sentiment that we share. The bank (SCBB) has considered issues which were raised by the bank (central bank) and we have made sense of that and we are looking in that direction,? Seretse said.
?The fellow was seen fit to run the bank itself but we reached a dead-end with the central bank,? he added.

The move saw SCBB chairman having to plead with Linah Mohohlo for a compromise candidate who is expected to arrive in the country in the next coming weeks. However, there are specific instructions that he be under studied by a Motswana for a period not exceeding three years.

In the third year, the Motswana understudy is expected to take-over, which will be a first in the history of SCBB.

?In future we will take some of those issues on board and we have decided to take one Motswana on board and the tenure of the next managing director is not going to last for more than three years,? he said.

The move by the bank was praised by analysts who said it was high time SCBB got closer to the people by appointing a Motswana as managing director.


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