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Bank Haunts Employees Over Bond Notes Picture Leaks

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By Professor Mutodzi

Harare, December 12, 2016 – A ZIMBABWEAN bank has arraigned three of its employees before a disciplinary hearing for alleged serious misconduct after they were dismissed last month for allegedly leaking images of bond notes before their official introduction as Zimbabwean currency last month.

The state run People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) last month sacked three employees Moses Juma, Oliver Chikandira and Rashid Joe after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe faulted and fined the bank $500 000 for violating some provisions of the country’s Banking Act.

This is after some of the bank’s workers allegedly shared images of bond notes in a bank vault via social media before their official launch by the apex bank.

The RBZ described the release of images of the bond notes as “wrongful” and “deplorable”.

POSB executives last week summoned Juma, Chikandira and Joe to appear before a disciplinary hearing on Monday at Causeway Building which houses the bank’s head office, for allegedly committing acts of serious misconduct.

The bank alleged that the trio took 45 images of the bond notes that were in the vault and activities of staff working in the vault, conduct which was not expected of them.

“On the same day you released the same 40 images accompanied by various text messages onto the social media. You had no express authority from either POSB or Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to take and distribute the images of the stack of bond notes in the vault as well as the activities of the staff working in the vault,” reads part of a letter summoning the POSB employees to appear before a disciplinary hearing.

The bank charged that the trio’s conduct is inconsistent with the fulfillment of the express or implied conditions of their contract.

Juma, Chikandira and Joe were accused of being in breach of confidence by divulging information of a confidential nature regarding the business of the bank and its clients to some unauthorised persons.

In addition, the employees were also charged with gross negligence which had caused a serious loss to the bank after the RBZ fined it $500 000.

The RBZ introduced bond notes on 28 November, a local currency designed to ease a biting cash shortages in the troubled southern African country.

Despite warnings by government critics that the introduction of the bond notes could impoverish long suffering Zimbabweans and quicken the “fall” of President Mugabe’s administration, authorities maintain that the move will ease the shortage of cash.

Last week, the RBZ announced that it would release the second batch of bond notes amounting to $7 million following the release of the first batch of $10 million bond notes last month bringing the total amount of bond notes disbursed to $17 million.

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