Gono splashes US$1M in Bribes Ahead of Presidential bid

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has spent a whopping US$1million to bribe public officials by dishing out a fleet of top of the range motor vehicles and plasma TVs for his personal public relations exercise at a time the nation is profusely yearning for wise investment and a sound economic p

 Gono is reportedly sprucing up his image as he prepares for a Presidential bid in fresh elections.

 Gono has previously said he has no Presidential ambitions, but an informed source told The reporters Gono was busy consolidating his power through bribes, patronage and targeting potential rivals.

 Gono recently published a book he called " Zimbabwe’s Casino Economy". Most holders of public office only publish books or memoirs after they complete their terms.

 The  source pointed that the book was laying ground work for Gono to build a solid resume and profile to suit the high office. The plan was started with the help of Prof Jonathan Moyo who assisted Gono to award himself a doctorate.

 Gono is rumoured to be the most protected man in Zimbabwe after President Robert Mugabe.

 An impeccable source in the financial intelligence department of the RBZ has confirmed to reporter that Gono has a fleet vehicles that encompass Vigos, Mercedes Benz, BT 50 trucks and and others popularly known as Toyota ‘Mahindras’ in Zimbabwe (Mahindra is an Indian clone of a Toyota) that are parked at the basement of the central bank as well as the RBZ Sports Club.

 The vehicles are waiting to be allocated to the lucky beneficiaries that play to his gallery of patronage.

 The source claimed Gono is preparing to enter the Presidential race in fresh elections that are likely to follow the collapse of the GNU talks. Gono and his backers some who sit in the Joint Operations Command are planning to impose Gono as a candidate in the next election when they hope the opposition would have been weakened.

 The magnitude of Gono's abuse of resources is quite stunning. Can you believe it only last week, he gave a preacher of a local church a Mercedes Benz saying that he was impressed about how he had addressed the congregation, said the RBZ source.

 Late last year, Gideon Gono allocated Mercs to mere journalists that include the deportee Ceasar Zvayi and Robert Mugabe's drum beater Munyaradzi Huni at a time ZINWA and the City of Harare were wallowing with lack of resources to buy water treating chemicals and medication to arrest Cholera.

 Gono, who is also rumoured to be clandestinely seeing the ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya has reportedly bought her a top-of-the-range car at a time Zifa was struggling to pay its Brazilian coach.

 According to the RBZ source, the fleet of vehicles are meant for media practitioners that give Gono positive coverage in these economically turbulent times, chiefs that support Mugabe and other notable figures in the Military Junta now running Zimbabwe with Mugabe as their front.

 Tonderai Mukeredzi, who deputises Kumbirai Nhongo as RBZ spokesman had not furnished feedback on the enquiry of his boss' fleet of vehicles as promised earlier.

 Prior to the chaotic 2008 March harmonised parliamentary and presidential elections, Gono allocated BT50 trucks to the so-called strategic parastatals of the Herald, ZBC, ZESA, ZINWA and TELONE to dust up their services as a way of bribing the electorate into voting for Mugabe.

 The Toyota ‘Mahindra’ was specifically reserved for the central intelligence for the purposes of abducting the enemies of ZANU PF.

 These are some of the vehicles used to abduct Jestina Mukoko, a leading human rights activist and many MDC members and supporters.

 However, reports say most senior officials in parastatals parked their personal cars and instead diverted the BT50 trucks into their personal use with free-for-all fuel courtesy of RBZ. Mugabe went on to lose the elections but refused to pave the way for the MDC.

 Alson Mufiri, head of public relations and marketing functions of RBZ rural banking however confirmed that the central bank had received reports of abuse of the BT50 trucks prior to the March 2008 elections and were investigating.

 Reports also say Rueben Barwe and Judith Makwanya were each allocated a BT50 truck for the elections at a time the then news editor Patrice Makova was going on foot.

 Gono has made bribery his key weapon with Judges and Magistrates being given plasma TVs and SUV trucks in addition to Mercedes E280.

 The media has not escaped either as the Herald, ZTV and other state news organisations have been "allocated" cars directly from the RBZ boss office . – By Frank Kuwana

Post published in: Economy

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