Malawi Savings Bank shamed with nepotism

The state-owned  Malawi Savings Bank (MSB)Chief Executive Officer Ian Bonongwe has been hit by accusations of nepotism and favoritism.

According to widely circulated documents to the media  by MSB Employees, Bonongwe is accused of favouring staff from his district of origin Ntcheu at the expense of well qualified and deserving personnel.

Bonongwe, according to concerned employees, upon his appointment, he made sure that the old board is replaced by people he would easily manipulate. The current board is chaired by  former Reserve Bank Governor Victor Mbewe his homeboy from Ntcheu.

The documents reveal Ms Alice Konyani, a director who also comes from Ntcheu  chairs the Human Resources and Appointments subcommittee of the board.

Bonongwe: Nepotism claims

Bonongwe: Nepotism claims

Given this structure of the wholly-owned government firm, Bonongwe was able to ensure that he signed a 5 year contract instead of the normal 3 year contract.

Since his arrival, he has made sure that most of the key appointments and promotions go to his kinsmen from Ntcheu at the expense of more deserving personnel existing in the bank. The following are a few examples:

  • Francis Kammnalere, Head Corporate Banking
  • Gertrude Chimbeya, Branch Manager, Limbe
  • Brenda Chilima, Corporate Affairs Managers
  • Frazer Azere, Branch Manager Chikhwawa
  • Preston Kefa, Branch Manager, Lunzu (Direct Nephew)

The CEO has reportedly released an Administrative Notice NO152 announcing Senior Management Changes and promotions whereby major beneficiaries are from his home district of Ntcheu.

  • Fanuel Kumdana, to head a new department known as Admin and Support Services
  • Million Hera promoted to head Treasury & International Trade
  • Francis Kammalere, Head of Operations (all branch managers and outlets to report to him).
  • Brenda Chilima to head Business Development and Marketing

A number of senior members of staff who were key in decision making process before his return are either being sidelined or ignored in one way or the other, the staff claimed. These include the former acting CEO now DCEO, Kayisi Sadala, Head of Fiance James Salaka, Head of Human Resources and former Company Secretary Haston Chamba.

Some people have either been relocated or transferred to junior jobs such as;

  • Haston Chamba who was hitherto the bank’s Head of HR and Admin/Company Secretary is now just Head of HR
  • Fearless Malulu who was Head of Internal Audit was moved to head as small department of Risk & Compliance
  • Abel Gondwe was moved as Branch Manager Mzuzu to a lower job in Head Office.
  • Levi Chirwa was moved as Branch Manager Capital City to a lower job at Head Office.
  • Jacob Ackim was moved as Branch Manager Capital City to manage a smaller Agriculture section. He had earlier replaced Mr. Chirwa at Capital City but moved within few months without a reason.

Meanwhile, Bonongwe has created a new inner circle that is now responsible for most of the decisions taking place in the bank. This is composed of Temwa Munthali – dubbed as ‘chief gossiper and spy’ -, Francis Kammalere and Fanuel Kumdana.

The workers said renewal of contracts for a number of members of Senior Management are being withheld for no reason at all, citing contracts for the Head of Fiance (James Sakala), Head of ICT (Sam Phiri) and Head of Retail and Business Banking (Teddie Chanza) expired last July but they have not being renewed thereby leaving them in suspense as to their career prospects and future.

These people are being perceived to have been closer to their previous management.

The CEO had directed that all construction projects in the company should be coordinated by Kamwaza Design owned by his close friend and home boy Daniel Kamwaza. MSB staff accuse Kamwaza that his charges are too exorbitant further draining the company’s resources.

Nyasa Times solicited comment from Bonongwe but could not get reply and the company marketing manager was also coy to respond.

Bonongwe was once CEO for MBS before he was replaced by Joseph Mwanamvekha in 2004.

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