Arusha. It was a five-minute speech but one that may play a significant role in the future of CRDB Bank Plc.
Former CRDB Bank Plc chief executive officer, Dr Charles Kimei, finally bid farewell to the bank’s shareholders at the Simba Hall at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) on Saturday, May 18, 2019, pledging his allegiance to the new management.
“I have been chief executive officer (CEO) for CRDB Bank Plc for a period of 22 years. Like a parent who fathers a 22-year old child, I have deep love for CRDB Bank. I will support Abdulmajid (Nsekela) whenever my support is needed,’ he said amid applause from the audience.
He said he had known Abdulmajid for many years and that he (Abdulmajid) holds what it takes to drive CRDB Bank to new levels.
“He only needs our support. He needs to remember the history and learn from it. He needs to create buffers and defensive mechanisms to ensure that CRDB remains afloat,” he said.
Dr Kimei did not forget to ask for forgiveness to those that he might have angered in the process of executing his responsibilities during the past 22 years of his tenure at the helm of CRDB Bank.
“When you are a leader, you make decisions. For the past 22 years, I was making decisions for CRDB Bank and in the process, I might have made certain decisions that did not yield intended results. I apologise to those that we might have crossed hairs in the process of executing my decision making role,” he said.
Dr Kimei retired in October last year (2018) after the CRDB Bank board announced the appointment of Mr Abdulmajid Nsekela as the new chief executive officer.
Dr Kimei’s retirement was characterized by some uncertainties among CRDB Bank shareholders to the extent that in May last year (2018), shareholders unanimously voted to halt the process of hiring the bank’s new chief executive officer, saying Dr Kimei needed more time at the helm of Tanzania’s largest bank.
The decision came after shareholders voiced their concerns during the bank’s 23rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) that the ongoing economic changes in the country do not give a conducive environment for CRDB Bank Plc to change the CEO.
But with latest financial statements showing that the bank remains stable, the cloud of uncertainty seems to end as Mr Nsekela cements his leadership.
In improvement in the bank’s profit, which has resulted into a rise in dividend, might have informed the shareholders that CRDB Bank Plc was still in good hands despite Dr Kimei’s retirement.
The bank’s financial statement, which was presented to shareholders by board chairman, Mr Ally Laay, shows that the lender’s net profit rose to Sh64.1 billion in 2018 from Sh36.2 billion in 2017.
Shareholders did not hide their delight over the financial outcomes.
“I was one of those that opposed the idea of Dr Kimei’s retirement but I am now happy that our own man, who was mentored by Kimei, has taken over…I no longer have any bad feeling and we must now support the management and proceed,” said Captain (rtd) Nkoswe Noel, who is a shareholder from Sumbawanga.
Another shareholder, Dr Davis Mabeba, said: “There was a cloud of uncertainty last year and we were divided. We had prophets of doom. We predicted that the bank would do poorly if Kimei leaves. I congratulate the management for reaching this level”.