Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Former Agribank chief executive, Somkhosi Malaba, has died.
He was 65.
Sources say he passed on peacefully at his home this morning due to kidney failure.
“A great tree has fallen. A great man, genuinely devoted to his country and his profession, Mr Malaba was a unique leader and an accomplished economist.
“As Agribank CEO, he led the bank’s turnaround initiatives, achieving profitability in 2016. Agribank will be poorer without him, the nation will be poorer without him,” said a source close to him who spoke on condition of anonymity since they had not been cleared by the family.
It is understood Malaba had valiantly fought kidney problems over 12 years. Acting Agribank CEO Mr Elfas Chimbera could not be immediately reached for comment.
But former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president and United Refineries Limited CEO Mr Busisa Moyo turned to Twitter and wrote: “Hard to accept he is gone. A fellow president at the Bankers Association. Instrumental in the Lima Debt conversations in 2015-2017. Served with us on PAC (Presidential Advisory Council). Former AgriBank CEO. May the Lord strengthen the family at this time of loss. The memory of you lives!”
Malaba retired as Agribank CEO at the end January this year after 16 years at the helm of the financial institution. He was appointed CEO in May 2004 after serving as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for six years from August 1998 to April 2004.
His appointment as RBZ Deputy Governor came after 16 years of service at different senior levels within the central bank.
Malaba was an economist who obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He furthered his studies in the United Kingdom where he acquired a Masters in Economics from the University of Manchester.
He has also served on secondment to Government as Secretary in the National Economic Planning Commission under the Office of the President and Cabinet from 1996 to 1997.
A letter announcing Malaba’s retirement read: “We wish to advise that Somkhosi Mahamba Temba Malaba retired from the position of chief executive officer for the bank effective 31 January 2020.
“Elfas Chimbera, the executive director finance, will be acting as the CEO of Agribank effective February 1, 2020 pending the appointment of a substantive CEO.”
Malaba held many positions throughout his career. He was the vice chair of the Sadc/DFRC board of trustees from 2008 to 2009, Lupane State University council chair since 2007, Institute of Bankers (Zimbabwe) council chair from 2008 to 2014 and Fidelity Printers & Refiners Limited director from 1998 to 2004.
He also sat on the Deposit Protection Scheme board from 1998 to 2004, St Lucia Park board from 2000 to 2004, PTA Bank 1993 to 1995, Zimbabwe Development Bank board 1988 to 1993 and was the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president from 2014 to 2016.