Zanu heavies push for Gono’s ouster

HARARE - A massive shake-up of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is looming amid reports that heavyweights in President Robert Mugabe's government are pushing for the ouster of Central Bank Chief, Gideon Gono.

Top government sources said Gono’s recent frank comments about Zanu (PF)’s disastrous policies have annoyed many in government.

Gono launched a scathing attack on the ruling party’s disastrous June 26 edict to slash prices of basic goods by 50 per cent.

But sources said what heightened calls to have Gono removed from the central bank were his direct attack on Mugabe’s policies made through his mid-term monetary policy in September.

Gono slammed the indigenization bill that is aimed at seizing control of foreign firms, branding it “grab, take all and run policies.”

Mugabe has so far not commented on Gono’s statement, but our source said he was under pressure to purge the central bank, which has recently been at tangent with Zanu (PF)’s plans.

There were also concerns that Gono was becoming “too powerful and overly ambitious” and could use his position as central bank governor to mount a presidential bid.

Documents in our possession reveal that ruling party hawks are piqued by what they see as Gono’s “neo-liberal policies”, especially his spirited attempt to re-engage the Bretton Woods institutions to access desperately needed balance-of-payments support.

These “Anglo-American imperialist handouts” are cited as one of the reasons Gono should be fired. Also cited is his apparent failure to come up with a turnaround strategy for the crisis- ravaged economy, blamed for fast-tracking hatred against the Mugabe government, particularly among urbanites.

The Zimbabwean was told that there was an increasing number of officials in Mugabe’s government who were voicing concern in Cabinet over the manner the RBZ was being run and its contribution to wrecking the economy through its “quasi-fiscal activities.”

Mugabe is under pressure to appoint a high flyer who can breathe new life into the comatose economy wrecked by insane policies and has been urged to cast his net beyond political patronage.

“Gono’s days are numbered, that’s for sure,” said a top Cabinet member.

An intelligence document leaked from official sources titled “Case for a new RBZ governor” states that Gono should be removed for pursuing “megaphone policy making” instead of “circumspection.”

“Given lack of solid unity of purpose and drive on the economic front, especially in the face of so many hurdles, the country needs a new (RBZ) governor with drive and the attributes necessary to contribute to effective turnaround of the economy, to drown despondency, alarm and defeatism and the looking for rescue from Anglo-American imperialist handouts,” says the report.

The documents also reveal ongoing multi-faceted secret investigations by the Central Intelligence Organisation’s Counter Intelligence Unit, into circumstances surrounding the purchase of Gono’s US$37,500 luxury Mercedes Benz and his alleged importation of fake fertilizer from South African company Intshona Products.

The CIO is also probing the construction of a multi-trillion dollar road, the Newlands Bypass Project, in which Gono is alleged to have enriched himself. The investigation is being led by Charlton Chihuri.


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