George Guvamatanga

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George Guvamatanga
George Guvamatanga Biography
Born1971

George Tongesayi Guvamatanga is a senior civil servant and the current Permanent Secretary In the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Zimbabwe. He is the former Managing Director of Barclays Zimbabwe. He was also the president of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ).

Personal Details

Guvamatanga was born and raised in Kambuzuma. [1]

School / Education

He did both his Primary and Secondary education in Kambuzuma.
For his secondary education, he attended Kambuzuma 1 High School.

Net Worth

While Guvamatanga's actual net worth is unknown, he said he received a package at Barclays, including a bonus of US$3 million. He also revealed that he has an offshore account.[2]

Source of wealth

George Guvamatanga said he is a businessman with interests spanning real estate, insurance, retail and distribution and farming, which he established before joining Government.[3]

Service / Career

In January 2008 Guvamatanga was appointed as the Managing Director and Executive Director of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd. Guvamatanga was also elected as the president of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.[4] Up to 2014, Guvamatanga was said to have had seventeen years of experience in the banking sector.

In November 2017 Guvamatanga resigned as Barclays Bank’s managing director after 28 years of service to the financial institution. This was after the successful acquisition of Barclays Bank PLC by FMB Capital Holdings. Samuel Matsekete, the then chief finance officer, was appointed acting managing director. Guvamatanga Resigns

In September 2018, Guvamatanga was appointed the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development following a restructuring of government ministries by Emmerson Mnangagwa's new administration.

Events

In September 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed new permanent secretaries, reassigned others and retired some others, under the Second Republic.[5]

On 25 November 2021, George Guvamatanga, was appointed to the board of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank Group (TDB Group) as a non-executive director.

Private aircraft to Victoria Falls

George Guvamatanga private jet

Guvamatanga told the ZBC on 16 August 2020 that he nearly died from the Coronavirus. Super-rich Ministry of Finance and Economic Development permanent secretary George Guvamatanga has celebrated beating the coronavirus by hiring a private aircraft to fly his family to Victoria Falls. Guvamatanga was hospitalised for over three weeks after going down with the respiratory illness, which also spread to his wife, young children and household staff.

Videos circulating showed Guvamatanga and his family being driven into the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on 15 August 2020 where a Beech 300 Super King Air 350 aircraft was on standby to fly the family to the tourist resort which re-opened last week after months of coronavirus-imposed restrictions. The aircraft is registered to National Airways Corporation of South Africa.[6] Guvamatanga did not travel, however, although he momentarily went into the aircraft to ensure his family was comfortable.

Drax International

Guvamatanga – the government’s paymaster – has been in the eye of a storm after approving dubious payments running into millions of dollars to Drax International LLC, a company linked to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s twin sons Collins Mnangagwa and Shaun. The company was awarded tenders worth over US$60 million to supply drugs and medical devices to the health ministry without going to tender.

Obadiah Moyo was arrested and sacked as health minister over the scandal exposed by ZimLive. Four executives of the state-owned drugs firm NatPharm were also arrested, but no action was taken against Guvamatanga who maintains that the task of doing due diligence on suppliers fell on the health ministry.

Kitchen Suite

Guvamatanga earlier this year reportedly paid US$50,000 cash for a kitchen suite – although like all Zimbabwean public servants he is paid in the worthless local currency.

Private Medical

Doctors and nurses are on strike at public hospitals where most Zimbabweans end up if they develop complications from the coronavirus – but Guvamatanga was treated at the Rock Foundation Medical Centre in Mt Pleasant which was acquired by Kudakwashe Tagwirei.

The facility, formerly owned by Munyaradzi Kereke, was renovated to the tune of US$3 million and reserved for Zanu-PF and military elites.

Lavish Birthday Parties

2021

On 6 October 2021, Guvamatanga had a birthday party. The party was held at Padonhodzo an exclusive events venue in Sunninghill, Harare and hosted by luxury event designing company, VIP Hosting.

He received a ticket to travel to the UK on a private jet to watch his favourite English Premier League team, Arsenal courtesy of Kudakwashe Tagwirei. He also received US$50,000 spending money for sight visits and other luxuries in the UK. Lawyers pointed out that Tagwirei, the biggest beneficiary of government contracts in the last five years, was actually bribing Guvamatanga.

George Guvamatanga flew in popular South African artists, Makhadzi and Mafikizolo. Zimbabwean artist based in South Africa, an award-winning guitarist and producer, Louis Mhlanga was also a headline act at the event. Tich Mataz was the Master of Ceremony.

As the party reached fever pitch Guvatamatanga told singer-songwriter and group member of Mafikizolo, Theo Kgosinkwe, that he would pay the outfit five times more than the agreed amount. A report in South Africa’s Movemag magazine at the end of 2014 claimed that Mafikizolo charged nothing less than R80,000 per gig minus flights and other out-of-country essentials.[7][8]

Guvamatanga faced criticism for hosting the party. In response he said he cannot pretend to be poor. He also said he was doing philanthropic work. He said:

"I worked for a big international bank for 30 years and I was paid in offshore accounts. There are millions in that account. Others avoid paying taxes when they are paid through offshore accounts, but Barclays was strict. And if you ask Zimra (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) they will tell you that I was one of the biggest taxpayers during my stint at Barclays Bank. I paid between US$2 million and US$3 million in taxes, the records are there. Now, if I paid US$3 million, ndakasara nemarii? (How much remained in my account?). My package at Barclays, including my bonus, was US$3 million. It is all above board. I have a known offshore account, and have interests across most sectors of the economy, from insurance to agriculture to distribution and others. I can’t stop my wife and children from organising the party because they said when you reach 50 years; we will need to celebrate because of what happened. I cannot pretend to be poor to make people happy. I am not poor. I am so surprised that people are judging me with the three years that I have been a civil servant, instead of the 30 years that I worked for Barclays. I am doing national service in the government. I have a trust that is paying the bills for a cancer patient, an amount more than what was paid to the artists. And I have a maid who I have stayed with for many years, and I bought her a house."

[2]

Further Reading

On 25 November 2021, George Guvamatanga, was appointed to the board of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank Group (TDB Group) as a non-executive director. See Great Dyke Investments.

[9]-

References

  1. Margaret Chinowaita, Barclays MD donates to former school, DailyNews, Published: October 16, 2013, Retrieved: July 11, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 “I cannot pretend to be poor to make people happy” – Guvamatanga, Nehanda Radio, Published: October 11, 2021, Retrieved: November 25, 2021
  3. Guvamatanga explains source of wealth, The Herald, Published: August 18, 2020, Retrieved: November 25, 2021
  4. ‘BAZ committed to Zim’s development’, The Herald, Published: June 6, 2012, Retrieved: July 11, 2014
  5. ED reshuffles permanent secretaries, The Herald, Published: 20 September 2018, Retrieved: 17 April 2020
  6. [1], ZimLive, Published: 16 August, 2020, Accessed: 18 August, 2020
  7. Nyasha Chuma, Tagwirei hands Guvamatanga private-jet Arsenal present & US$50,000 spending money, Zim Morning Post, Published: October 8, 2021, Retrieved: November 25, 2021
  8. Paidashe Mandivengerei, Guvamatanga in Lavish Birthday Party; As Makhadzi, Mafikizolo Perform In Harare, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: October 7, 2021, Retrieved: November 25, 2021
  9. Guvamatanga Lands Top Regional Post, Pindula, Published: 25 November 2021, Retrieved: 25 November 2021