GETTING TO KNOW: Mr Charles Matumba – Chief Financial Officer

Read time: 3 mins

The University of Fort Hare started this year in good standing, with the appointment of a highly qualified and experienced Chief Financial Officer, Mr Charles Matumba.  He joined UFH from Wits University where he held the role of Senior Group Finance Manager/Finance Executive. He assumed duties 1 January 2021, filling the CFO position which became vacant on 30 March 2020.

The CFO has big plans for the Finance Department and the UFH at large.  He took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to share some of his thoughts with ThisWeek@FortHare .

Please share a bit about your professional background including hobbies and interests                         

I began my career as a trainee accountant with KPMG in 2001 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2004 and later as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in 2016.  I rose through the ranks and have worked in different sectors. Some of the positions I have held include:  Audit Manager, Senior Audit Manager, Tax Manager, Financial Controller, Group Financial Manager/Executive and now a UFH Chief Financial Officer (CFO) .

Outside work, I enjoy nature visits and engaging in small-scale farming/agricultural activities.

What motivated you to come to the University of Fort Hare?

I am excited to be joining UFH at this historic moment when it is commencing its transformative journey. The idea of being part of a team that can steer the University in the right direction motivates me. I hope to contribute to this noble cause and add value to the University while enhancing my career aspirations.

What are the key focus areas of your portfolio?

I am in charge of the full finance function. This incorporates financial accounting (reporting, cash/treasury management, taxes, external funds, assets management, payroll), student finances (financial aid, fees and bursaries), financial planning and analysis/budgeting as well as supply chain management.

In your view, which areas have you identified as pockets of excellence and which ones require strengthening?

I view some of the units/people in UFH as pockets of excellence in terms of delivering their mandate and serving both internal and external stakeholders.  However, I have identified some units even in the CFO portfolio as not operating optimally. These units do not follow the set governance processes and have even cost the university, financially and reputationally.

What is your strategy to handle the question above?

My strategy is embedding a culture of awareness of financial principles and their impact on the ability of the university to deliver on its mandate to serve our students, staff and community at large. I hope to instil a culture of honesty, diligence, sense of belonging so that the Finance Department can fulfill its promises and be trusted as a true partner and enabler.

Lastly, what are your broad aspirations for the University of Fort Hare?

Broadly, I aspire to be an exemplary financial leader who will make UFH better financially governed to achieve its strategic goal of financial sustainability. I aspire to influence my colleagues and my team so that the good changes I will implement have a long-lasting impact on the University of Fort Hare.