By Mpedzegwa Wamanava
Finance and Economic Development Permanent Secretary, Mr George Guvamatanga, has broken his silence surrounding the source of his wealth.
Guvamatanga claims that he made his millions in USD while working in the private sector for more than 30 years. He added that he rose to the lucrative position of chief executive of Barclays Bank Zimbabwe which raked him in serious bucks, long before joining the civil service in November 2018.
His explanation followed after some irate Zimbabweans expressed their disgust on social media when it emerged that Guvamatanga hired a South African private jet to take his eight members family to Victoria Falls to celebrate overcoming coronavirus.
Some Zimbabweans even suggested that the dosh slashed on the private jet could be part of the proceeds of the US$ 60 million deal the government had with Drax International which he had authorised. Citizens are shocked by the government paymaster’s flaunting of opulence at a time when the majority of Zimbabweans are struggling to put food on the table.
In a clear public relations exercise, Guvamatanga was forced to release a statement announcing his golden hand shake he scored from Barclays Bank.
“I spent 30 years with Barclays Bank of which 23 of those was as senior executive and 10 years as the chief executive officer. It is known in the market that when I left I was paid a package running into millions of United States dollars,” said COVID 19 survivor.
“It is also important to note that I left after having successfully put together and led a consortium of managers (at Barclays Bank Zimbabwe) that wanted to acquire the bank and had secured funding for that, although Barclays Plc opted for another buyer,” said filthy rich government paymaster.
Barclays Bank sold its majority stake in Barclays Bank Zimbabwe to Malawi’s First Merchant Bank Capital in 2017 although former managers of the bank’s local operations led by Mr Guvamatanga had also bid to buy the shares.
When the bank changed hands, the new owners and Mr Guvamatanga agreed to part ways.
“I also remain a businessman with interests spanning real estate, insurance, retail and distribution and farming, which I established before joining Government. I joined Government from the private sector because I felt my experience would help in how Government is run and make a difference” he said.
Mr Guvamatanga was appointed Permanent Secretary in September 2018, 10 months after leaving Barclays, as part of the Government drive to upgrade State financial systems and controls.