Stanchart CEO Watunga Placed On Forced Leave

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By Alois Vinga

STANDARD Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Limited (Stanchart) chief executive officer Ralph Watunga has been placed on suspension to pave the way for investigations on numerous allegations.

A highly placed source at the bank told Business that the top banker’s scandals rocked the institution’s top management in the last quarter of 2021.

“Allegations are that Watunga would order the renovation of Stanchart buildings despite the fact that the bank was in the process disposing them as part of its efforts to cut down physical presence, prompted by the ongoing digital revolution,” a source at the bank said.

“He is also being accused of disposing of the properties to a resuscitated local bank (name withheld) in which he is suspected to have interests. Apart from these two allegations, Watunga is also being accused of benefiting from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Auction funds which he would later externalise,” the source said.

Efforts to get a response from Watunga failed to bear fruit as he neither answered calls on his mobile phone nor respond to questions sent to him over WhatsApp.

Stanchart’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Lillian Hapanyengwi declined to comment citing policy directives.

“As a bank, matters concerning our employees/staff are managed with the strictest confidentiality. You will, therefore, appreciate that as a matter of policy, we do not comment on personnel/individual staff matters,” she said.