By Alois Vinga
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has overhauled the Finance and Economic Development Ministry by announcing yet a new boss, Doctor George Guvamatanga who assumes the permanent secretary’s office with immediate effect.
Early this month, Mnangagwa appointed Mthuli Ncube to the portfolio.
Wednesday night, chief secretary to the president and cabinet Misheck Sibanda issued a press statement announcing that renowned banker, Guvamatanga, who served as managing director and executive director of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd since January 2008, was now new secretary.
He previously served as Head of Treasury of the Company and is also the president of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.
He takes over from Willard Manungo who will be reassigned to an undisclosed portfolio.
The development effectively witnesses the ouster of two Finance and Economic Development heavyweights who have dominated the portfolio in the past years.
Reacting to the developments, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce past president and business leader, Divine Ndhlukula said the gesture was refreshing.
“The appointment comes at a time when we need fresh blood especially well versed technocrats from the private sector.
“Guvamatanga is tried and tested in banking and finance. He is a solid guy and we are hoping to see meaningful developments coming from the finance portfolio. Some of these retired secretaries had overstayed and need to venture in other interests,” she said.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, Sifelani Jabangwe expressed confidence in the appointment.
“We are happy with the manner in which the finance portfolio is being strengthened, George is a seasoned banker and such developments are clear testimony the President Mnangagwa is committed to turn around the country’s fortunes,” he said.