Harare – President Robert Mugabe‘s only daughter Bona has just been named to the board of a new bank in her second high-profile appointment in a week, according to a report.
Twenty-seven-year-old Bona’s appointment to Zimbabwe’s unpopular Censorship Board earlier this week sparked outrage.
Rise and rise
Now the Zimbabwe Independent says the president’s daughter has just been named as a board member of the new state-run Empower Bank. The claim could not be independently verified.
But many on social media see it as yet more evidence of Bona’s rise and rise – just as her 93-year-old father gets increasingly frail.
Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao (who is also the minister of indigenisation) said Bona and two other young officials had been appointed to the Empower Bank board “not only for their skills, but as part of the ministry’s policy to promote youth”, the Independent reported in its latest edition.
Masters in banking
Bona is in fact better qualified to sit on the board of a bank than on the board of a censorship body: she does at least have a Masters in banking and finance from Singapore. But there is no record of her having actually worked at a bank post-graduation.
Building a dynasty
With the Zimbabwe president still unwilling to name a successor despite his age, there’s increasing speculation the father-of-three may be trying to build a dynasty to ensure his family’s continued financial and political survival when he dies. Analyst Derek Matyszak told an Institute for Security Studies seminar in Pretoria this week that First Lady Grace Mugabe had worries about her future and might be elevated to cabinet – a prediction that is not new in Zimbabwe.
Reaction on social media to news of Bona’s latest appointment was swift – and mostly critical. Tweeted @tanatawa: “The dairy business has failed, they are now after state money, no shame at all!” Harare-based @TungiMu said: “This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. She’s going to be on over a dozen boards before this year is out.”
But there were also questions on how the cash-strapped Zimbabwe government was going to find funds for the new bank. Tweeted @Ricky27_263: “State bank with what money?”
At least eight banking institutions collapsed in Zimbabwe between 2009 and 2015, an article by Zimbabwe Independent claimed in 2015