BoN takes SME Bank to court

04 Jul 2017 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JUL (NAMPA) - The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has initiated legal action in the High Court against the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Bank, where about N.dollars 200 million went missing.
In a Tuesday media statement, BoN Governor Ipumbu Shiimi said the legal proceedings are seeking the winding-up of the ‘troubled’ SME Bank saga.
“While the Bank of Namibia is aware of the anxiety these legal actions may cause to employees, depositors, creditors and other interested parties alike, it nevertheless calls for calm during this period and urges all stakeholders to cooperate fully and exercise the necessary patience,” said Shiimi, without disclosing when court proceedings are set to begin.
The BoN disempowered six executives and directors of the SME Bank in April this year and took charge of the bank following the discovery of what appeared to be unsound investments of close to N.dollars 200 million, allegedly made in South Africa.
The six took the BoN to the High Court but lost the case when High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele on 25 April ruled their urgent application did not meet requirements to be heard on an urgent basis.
The six are SME Bank Chief Executive Officer, Tawanda Mumvuma; Finance Manager Joseph Banda, General Manager of Treasury and Investments Alec Gore; Chairperson of the Board George Simataa, Vice-Chairperson Enock Kamushinda and ordinary director Ozias Bvute.
The Namibian government has over the past four years pumped about N.dollars 477 million into the SME Bank since its establishment in 2013.
The 2017/18 National Budget includes a proposed allocation of N.dollars 15 million but Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein last month called for the complete closure of the SME Bank.