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RBZ Wins Appeal Against Philton Makena Over Leaked Document

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has successfully appealed against a Labour Court decision supporting the reinstatement of its former economist, Philton Makena, who was dismissed for leaking a confidential “de-dollarisation roadmap” document before its official approval four years ago.

The lower court had ruled in favor of Makena, ordering his reinstatement or compensation if reinstatement wasn’t possible. It argued that the RBZ hadn’t sufficiently proven Makena’s guilt and criticized the rushed proceedings.

However, the Supreme Court, comprising Justices Tendai Uchena, Alfas Chitakunye, and Joseph Musakwa, unanimously overturned this decision. They found that Makena, as a managerial employee, breached trust by sharing a confidential document without authorization, thus justifying his dismissal.

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Justice Musakwa emphasized Makena’s position of trust within the RBZ and his responsibility to safeguard confidential information. Despite Makena’s argument that the document wasn’t accessed through his work or wasn’t confidential, the court disagreed.

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The leaked roadmap outlined macro-economic policy measures for a five-year de-dollarisation strategy, including allowing the US dollar for domestic transactions while transitioning to a fixed and dual exchange system.

After leaking the document, Makena was arrested, charged, and sentenced to community service, but he later successfully appealed against both conviction and sentence at the High Court.

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