Gideon Gono acquires Heritage school

Gideon Gono acquires Heritage school

Former RBZ, Gideon Gono

FORMER Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor and businessman Gideon Gono has acquired a majority shareholding in The Heritage School (THS), one of the country’s leading private schools.
The elite institution, which abuts the exclusive Borrowdale Brooke estate, was founded by the Austin and Pangeti families, who each owned 50 percent.
Through his Family Foundation, Gono now owns a 76 percent stake after purchasing 50 percent shareholding from David Rodney, Janet Austin and their son Thomas William. He acquired an additional 26 percent interest from the Pangeti family.
The Pangetis – George, his wife Evelyn Sandra and son George Jnr – retain a 24 percent stake. The transactions were concluded for an undisclosed amount of money and the terms of the deals were also not immediately revealed.
The Austins and the Pangetis – long-time family friends of the former CBZ Holdings chief executive – retain their positions on the school’s reconstituted board.
“My association with THS dates back to the day the first foundation brick was laid in 1996. I subsequently brought my twin girls, Pride and Praise, here for their secondary education from 1999 to 2004. Gideon Jnr was here from 2002-2004,” Gono said at a takeover ceremony attended by the school’s academic and non-academic staff yesterday.
“The vision and passion to get involved in the education sector of our economy was born from my own humble beginnings before independence so today marks a realisation of the vision, a vision that seeks to see The Heritage School transform itself to become the best educational institution in Zimbabwe by the year 2020,” he said.
“This will be achieved by nothing else other than the dedication and determination on the part of everyone associated with THS from the academic staff, parents, students, non-academic staff, our bankers and associates in the field of education locally and abroad,” the former Central Bank boss said.
With a combined enrolment of 1 400 – across infant, junior and senior departments – THS was established in June 1996.
Gono, who will not sit on the school’s board of governors, has since appointed ex-Standard Chartered Bank senior staffer Julius Chikomwe as chairman of the board.
The practicing lawyer and ex-Zimbabwe Open University councillor would be joined by Richard Mukurumbira, a robotics and renewable energy PhD holder, and Harvard University lecturer Stanford Chibanda.
While Chikomwe is a law and finance graduate from the Duisenberg School of Finance in Amsterdam, the latter two also bring massive credentials to the board through their experience gained in Australia and the United States.
Meanwhile, Jane Austin has been appointed deputy chairperson with responsibility for establishing beneficial networks for THS and Gono said the school would maintain a close working relationship with the Primary and Secondary as well as Higher and Tertiary Education ministries.
“As a school, we must aspire to be a leading school in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (initiative)… agriculture, and other purely academic subjects,” he said, adding “this explains the makeup of our board and we will ensure that there is a robotics science, and IT discipline that is second to none… beginning next year”.
Asked about how the deal was financed, Gono could only say “it has been financed in our minds and by bringing the future into the present”.
A former tea maker, the Harare businessman kick-started his 41-year career through private studies to become – among other achievements – University of Zimbabwe chairman and RBZ governor, serving between 2003 and 2013.
In June, Gono was appointed chairman of the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority. He was, until recently, the majority shareholder of The Financial Gazette, from which he has since divested.

  • JongweRachembera

    Amazing what stolen diamond revenue can buy one.

    • Cde Dave

      Was he part of the Diamond looting? He looks very honest though. Tell us more JongweRachembera

      • JongweRachembera

        Hahaha “looks very honest”. Where were you when he was RBZ governor? If i am to explain to something that most Zimbabweans are aware of then there is no hope for you. Internet is a great invention, Google Gono and diamonds and see for yourself.

  • Mnumuzana

    The purchase was probably financed from borrowed funds. That being said, it means the school will be milked dry of resources in order to pay off debts. Chickens are not doing too well, farms are under utilized, creditors jumped in as soon as “your governor” left office. Where did he get the money ?

    • Big Mike

      Is the guy not loaded with cash

  • Susan

    Ane mari yake mudhara GG siyanai naye.

  • Pamela

    “Our governor” failure is not an option on this project, We believe in you protect and empower or kid’s future especially mine at this school

  • Mrs Malaika

    Have a feeling he is fronting a certain special family

    • Wordsmith

      Word! That USD15 billion is going to build a uni, acquire Heritage, fund schools and so on. Watch this space!

  • Masvingo Jokes

    Diamonds money being clean and put into good use, welcome bank to the lime light Cde Gono

    • Wordsmith

      There is a reason why he has been put as chairman of the special economic zones authority. The money will come in as “FDI” into the special zones and be cleaned that way. his bonds (no pun intended) run deep with the special family!

  • Prophet

    Can someone take a picture of this school today, as many pictures and we take similar pictures three years from now and JUST COMPARE

  • Shelton Mapuranga

    We are behind you former governor, do not listen to haters, prove them wrong. We know u failed to run Lunar Chickens but do your best on this project.

  • Nigel Tusker

    Mukoma uya we ma Bearer cheques atanga huyai muone. Apinda mumaschool hope this school will not be run like a village tuckshop. Make a good name on this project Dr Gideon Gono

  • Headmaster

    Look after this school well Dr Gono, do not do what Dr Chiyangwa did to Divaris McHarris (sp) Maintain confidence or else parents will withdraw their kids from the school.

  • Jon

    We want people who have business mentality that you buy assets and investment than grab grab zero cost acquisition.

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