BANK workers union in Zimbabwe are demanding to know what the status of the head of Standard Chartered Zimbabwe is after a reported emerged that he had been suspended.
Ralph Watungwa, the chief executive officer of the unit, hasn’t been seen at work, according to the union.
According to Bloomberg, the bank declined to comment, saying staff matters are confidential.
“Our members are advising us that he has not been at work of late, but no one has the actual reasons,” Peter Mutasa, general secretary of the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU), said. “We will be seeking the bank’s position officially soon.”
An online publication reported that Watungwa has been suspended, citing a bank source. New Zimbabwe said 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,” sources told the publication.
Watungwa didn’t respond to three calls to his mobile phone and a text message sent seeking comment.
Standard Chartered 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.
The London-based lender competes local and South African banks that operate in the southern African nation.