Stanbic Bank Botswana is likely to lose its Managing Director after it emerged he is a strong contender for the position of Chief Executive, Standard Bank Namibia.
Sources said Leina Gabaraane has been shortlisted with five other candidates (Namibians), but he is expected to emerge the victor after the ongoing interviews despite resistance from some sectors which call for the localisation of the post.
The position has been held by Mpumzi Pupuma, a South African national. Both Stanbic Bank (Botswana) and Standard Bank Namibia are subsidiaries of Standard Bank Group whose head office is in South Africa.
The interviews for the posts which are expected to be concluded soon are led by the board, which include Pindie Nyandoro, the bank’s Southern and Central Africa Chief Executive and a top Human Resources executive from Standard Bank head office in South Africa.
The Namibian media reported last year that at some point the board and Nyandoro clashed over a succession plan to replace Pupuma, who has led the bank for seven years. It is believed that Nyandoro preferred Gabaraane.
The allegations of Gabaraane taking over the job were extensively reported by the Namibian media late last year and early this year and went further to accuse Nyandoro of preferring Gabaraane over the Namibian candidates.
“Sources said the adverts were just a formality since Gabaraane had already been introduced to the bank’s top management as Pupuma’s replacement in November. Sources further allege that the board felt that by appointing Gabaraane, the bank had disregarded Bank of Namibia’s guidelines and the government’s Namibianisation policy,” The Namibian reported.
However, Standard Bank Namibia board chairman, Herbert Maier, has since disputed the allegations adding that advertising the position was not a formality and that the job had not been offered to anybody. Efforts to reach Gabaraane for a comment proved futile last week as he was said to be outside the country.
Gabaraane is the second Motswana to head a local commercial bank. He took the reins at Stanbic Bank in 2008 from Dennis Kennedy, who by then was to become the head of Standard Bank subsidiaries in southern Africa.