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ZABG in staff witch-hunt

Shakeman Mugari

THE Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) has launched a witch-hunt to sniff out senior executives and employees believed to have links with former directors of Trust and Royal Bank.

ZABG, formed out of the ashes of Trust and Royal, has been dogged by financial problems and internal politics, with management failing to harmonise the cultures of the merged banks. The witch-hunt started last month and seeks to purge the bank of employees believed to have close ties with former directors of the collapsed banks.

The operation, sources say, includes monitoring e-mail communication and phone calls coming in and out of the bank. In the latest case, two senior managers were fired two weeks ago for allegedly writing e-mails to former Trust director, Christopher Goromonzi.

Tigere Muzenda (manager – retail advances) and Gift Shoko (manager – corporate banking) were dismissed after they were accused of acting as “spies” for the former directors. The two are former Trust Bank workers and were co-opted into ZABG when the bank collapsed. They also worked under Goromonzi when he was director of retail banking before he was booted out together with Trust founder William Nyemba.

Sources say the managers wrote e-mails to Goromonzi in January congratulating him and Nyemba for starting a new financial institution.

Sources say they were dragged before three senior executives who accused them of “communicating with enemies of the bank”. They were accused of “abusing company e-mail facilities by communicating with enemies (former directors) of the bank”.

The disciplinary team comprised the head of human resources, head of risk and head of corporate banking. Shoko refused to comment on the issue. Experts say it is illegal for employers to read employees’ private e-mails and letters. It is also illegal to bug people’s telephones.

Muzenda could not be reached for comment. A ZABG spokesperson however denied that the two managers had been fired. “For the record, the two managers were not fired. Please note further that this is not a matter for discussion.”

She refused to give further details, saying “staff issues in line with policy in any organisation, are confidential matters”.

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