RBZ EXPOSES DRIVER BEHIND THE LEAKING OF BOND NOTES IMAGES | The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has unmasked the person who leaked photos of a consignment invoice of bond coins destined for Zimbabwe from South Africa this week and has reported the case to the police to institute criminal proceedings against the suspect.
Tinashe Sikwila, a 32-year-old Zimbabwean employed as a driver by Prestige Carriers, took pictures of the consignment invoice, which ended up circulating on social media.Prestige Carriers had been contracted by South African Mint.
In his statement of admission exclusively availed to this publication, Sikwila said after taking the pictures, he sent the photos of the invoice copies to his friends and relatives.
“I admit that I sent to Calista (his workmate based in South Africa) a photo of the invoice copy while we were discussing the trip (to Zimbabwe) on social media (WhatsApp),” said Sikwila.
“I received the document of the RBZ consignment invoice at 14:45 hours. I departed at 15:00 hours with two escort vehicles. I sent the invoice around 16:30 hours. We started talking on WhatsApp through audio chats. I then sent the invoice to my friend to show the value of the load,” said Sikwila.
“I also spoke to Mtasa, Kondo and Clement Matuvhunye about the load, but I did not send them photos,” he said.
Sikwila went on a spree sending the photos and also told his mother-in-law of the load he was transporting.
The mother-in-law prayed for Sikwila over the phone to travel safely on the trip to Harare.
When the story about the leaked photos of the invoice went public, Sikwila tried to delete all the evidence, but failed. When the consignment arrived at RBZ every member of the escort had their phones confiscated and Sikwila was unmasked as the culprit.
“I also told my mother-in-law that I was not coming with my family because I was carrying a sensitive load to Harare for RBZ. I also deleted a chat with Kudzai Sikwila in which I told him that I was carrying money belonging to the RBZ,” said Sikwila.
It was also discovered that Sikwila used the truck to illegally bring his daughter into Zimbabwe from South Africa.
The RBZ has since reported the matter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police where Sikwila is expected to be charged with violating the Official Secrets Act.
It is also understood that while communicating with his friends, Sikwila disclosed the registration numbers of cars escorting the truck and the type of rifles being used by the police, putting security of the consignment at risk.
The incident is not the first time sensitive details of RBZ activities have been leaked.
Earlier this year, the RBZ fined State-owned People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) $500 000 after its employees leaked images of bond notes before their official introduction.
The workers implicated in the leaks were dismissed from the financial institution.
With cases of cybercrime on the rise in Zimbabwe, Government is now finalising a new cybercrime bill to criminalise false information posted on the internet, revenge porn, cyber-bullying and online activity against the government, among other activities.
Zimbabweans convicted of illegal posts on social media face up to10 years in jail while foreign-based Zimbabweans will be extradited to face prosecution.
Cybercrimes include inciting violence, revenge po_rn, racist/xenophobic material, bullying, causing emotional stress, communicating falsehoods and degrading other people, intellectual property theft, and spreading falsehoods using the internet.