AT the height of the 2004 liquidity crisis, the then newly appointed central bank governor, Gideon Gono, cracked down on local banks with the zeal of a crusader and sent several owner-managers scattering. Gono accused the banks of abusing depositor funds, engaging in illicit foreign currency trades and failing to uphold sound corporate governance standards. Mthuli Ncube, who had set up his Barbican Bank in 2003, was one of the bank owners caught up in the central bank’s dragnet. Headlines from that era routinely described him as the “troubled banker” battling to retain his assets. After that ordeal, Ncube, who denies he fled from the country during the bank crisis, went on any odyssey which took him from Johannesburg, Accra,…