Secret recruiting for Operation Sunrise 2

BULAWAYO - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is secretly recruiting retired members of the security forces in preparation of "Operation Sunrise 2", which central bank insiders say could be launched anytime this month.

The RBZ is under pressure to address a three-week-long shortage of Z$100 000 and Z$200 000 bank notes.

While RBZ governor, Gideon Gono, initially ruled out the long-anticipated introduction of real currency to replace bearer cheques, which have been in use since 2003, he was recently forced to alter that statement, when he threatened to introduce the new money “any time from now”.

Sources within the RBZ told The Zimbabwean that the central bank was in the process of recruiting retired members of the police, the prison service and the army, to be roped into Operation Sunrise 2.

“Several former members of the security forces, especially police, have responded to the secret calls for recruitment and everyday we receive about 15 of them. We now have more than 500 applicants,” said an RBZ source in Bulawayo.

The Bulawayo recruitment is reportedly being done by a Mr Tembo, who is said to be based in the RBZ offices in the city.

It is however, not clear how many former security officers are targeted for the recruitment, as the process remains a closely-guarded secret.

Some former police officers also confirmed that they had applied for the job, but would not say when they would begin the operation.

“I got word from my friends who are still serving members and seem to have been told to look for retired members and tell them of the recruitment. When I got there, I found other former members and we were told to produce identity documents and certificates of service. Nothing has been made clear for now, as they took down our telephone numbers and promised to get back to us,” said a retired junior police officer.

Gono could not be reached for comment. – Bayethe Zitha

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