FINANCE Bank Zambia Plc board chairman William Nyirenda has been removed from the Patents and Company Registry Agency (PACRA) where he has been the chairperson for the board of directors for almost five years.
Mr Nyirenda’s tenure at PACRA came to an end on Friday last week after Commerce and Trade Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe revoked his appointment in the ongoing restructuring of the agency.
Mr Nyirenda confirmed to the Daily Nation yesterday that his tour of duty at PACRA had been recalled by Mrs Mwanakatwe in exercise of her powers under the PACRA Act stating that the Minister had the discretion to appoint and disappoint board members of parastatals in her ministry.
Sources at PACRA however told the Daily Nation that Mr Nyirenda was removed because his position as chairman of the agency was deeply conflicted following what they called questionable transfer of 500 000 000 shares from Zambezi Portland Cement to Finsbury Investment which took place at PACRA.
PACRA chief executive officer Anthony Bwembya when contacted to comment on the removal of Mr Nyirenda from the board declined to comment stating that he was subordinated to the board and referred the reporter to Mrs Mwanakatwe.
But the Daily Nation was informed that Mr Nyirenda was removed on Friday while on his way from Ndola International Airport to Lusaka to attend the PACRA board meeting which took place on Saturday.
But Mr Nyirenda said his removal from the PACRA board was not strange and that it was not correct for anyone to insinuate that he was removed on account of the transfer of Zambezi Portland Cement 500 000 000 shares from the agency to Finsbury Investment.
“I can confirm that my tenure and tour of duty with PACRA has been recalled by the Minister of Commerce and Trade, Margaret Mwanakatwe in exercise of her powers under the PACRA Act, I have served as PACRA board chairman for almost five years under two different governments and four different ministers.
I served under Felix Mutati, Bob Sichinga, Emmanuel Chenda and Margaret Mwanakatwe. I have enjoyed a good and cordial relationship with all the Ministers, board members and the staff at PACRA and it is not strange that I have been asked to leave because this is normal in any restructuring programme,” Mr Nyirenda said.
He said it was under his leadership as PACRA board chairperson and working together with other members that the agency had been transformed into modern institution with offices in all the ten provinces with a presence in 59 districts across the country.
Mr Nyirenda explained that PACRA had become a modern registry for companies and business as well as intellectual property registration stating that for the agency to achieve its current status, it was because of the support from government and other stakeholders..
Mr Nyirenda denied assertions that he was asked to leave the plane on Friday scheduled for Lusaka adding that he had managed to serve under two different government and four different ministers because they had had confidence that he could serve Zambians to the best of his abilities.
Mulenga Fube, a governance activist protested the appointment of Mr Nyirenda as chairman of Finance Bank Plc citing conflict of interest because he (Nyirenda) was also the chairman of PACRA where the alleged forgery of the transfer of 500 000 000 shares by Dr Mahtani took place.
And yesterday, Mr Fube said it was his desire to have Mr Nyirenda removed from PACRA because his position had compromised the operations of the registry.
Mr Fube told the Daily Nation that he was in the process of instructing his lawyers to challenge the appointment of Mr Nyirenda as Finance Bank Zambia Plc but that Mrs Mwanakatwe had removed him (Nyirenda