Thursday, March 23, 2023

Fired for breaking bank secrecy rules, employee wants job back

A former First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) employee sacked for disclosing confidential customer information to fraudsters wants his job back.

Benedict Motsewabagale, through his lawyers, Akoonyatse Law Firm, has filed a case of unfair dismissal before the Industrial Court.

Motsewabagale was slapped with charges of breaching FNBB’s secrecy code after he logged onto the account of Bahama Investments and disclosed how much money the company had.

However, he now maintains that he was duped by a certain Onthaetse Mosalagae.

Just when he thought the matter had been laid to rest, the bank instituted another disciplinary hearing and accused him of dishonesty and lying during the initial disciplinary inquiry.

Motsewabagale wants to be reinstated and compensated for all his earnings since being shown the door in May 2010.

The bank is opposing the case and the matter is set to be argued before the Industrial Court.
The case has also pitted FNBB’s Chief Executive Officer, Lorato Boakgomo-Ntakhwana, with her senior management team.

It has emerged that while Boakgomo-Ntakhwana had reinstated Motsewabagale after he appealed to her directly after he was sacked, senior executives within the bank challenged the CEO’s decision to reinstate him.

In his filed court papers, Motsewabagale claims he was fired after being tried twice for the same wrongdoing.

He states that after being slapped with a final written warning, he was hauled before the disciplinary committee, this time chaired by Lucky Bogopa, on charges of concealing the fact that he had actually revealed that the account had a bank balance in excess of P200 000.

According to FNBB, following this disclosure, a fraudulent cheque of about P170 000 was cashed at its Palapye Branch.

Motsewabagale claims he was cooperative during the disciplinary hearing. He argues he answered all questions honestly.

On the other hand, the bank is not budging and has, through its lawyers, Armstrong Attorneys, also filed opposing papers.

While he (Motsewabagale) claims he was cooperative during the disciplinary hearing and honestly answered all questions, the bank says he did not sincerely answer the questions posed by the chairman of the disciplinary committee, Mike Mothabatlou.

Falling short of saying he was evasive, FNBB states that Motsewabagale did not inform the committee that he had told the alleged swindler how much money was in the bank account.

The bank says that while he claimed he had only revealed that there was enough money to meet a withdrawal of P3000, he had revealed the actual account balance.

It says his omission was done deliberately to get a lenient punishment. The bank contends that the relationship of trust between the two parties has irretrievably broken down.


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