Kereke is not a saint

Zimbabweans are by now accustomed to the mudslinging between Gideon Gono and Munyaradzi Kereke. At one time, the two had a very close relationship based on professional faith and trust, but all that went flying out when Gono, feeling he had had enough of his erstwhile advisor, fired him in 2012. That opened a can of very big worms.


Kereke was subsequently fingered in the alleged rape of a minor, a case that, after some false starts, is now back at the courts. There is a public insinuation that Kereke had so far managed to wiggle out of the case because he is strongly connected. The young businessman-turned-politician insists that the case is a smear campaign against him by his enemies. There is no prize for guessing here, because Gono is certainly now one of Kereke’s arch enemies. Then there was also an onslaught against his medical institution in Mount Pleasant, which Kereke, again, blamed on his enemies. All sorts of accusations appeared against him in the media, among them that it was not properly registered. Most of the time, it was Mount Pleasant residents talking against the business venture, but Kereke did not see those as the ultimate enemy.

He would not take it lying down, and started making all sorts of allegations against Gono, particularly to the media. As he acknowledges, he even went as far as the President’s Office and national intelligence to expose what he said were cases of theft and graft by Gono in his capacity as Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The young man, quite a busybody I must say, originated a lengthy dossier of Gono’s sins and crimes, most of them enough to turn your skin bumpy. Last year, he gave that dossier to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, which failed to take action. Meanwhile, Gono had filed a legal suit against Kereke for defamation.

Now the case is at the Constitutional Court, and Kereke seems to be having a field day as details of how Gono “looted” RBZ pour out, and Kereke’s rape case is also back at the magistrates’ court. I wouldn’t possess half of the energy that Gono and Kereke each appear to have!

I will not say anything about what is happening at the Constitutional Court. Instead, I have chosen to wonder if Kereke is in any way cleaner than Gono. I am not saying Gono is dirty, by the way; just that the public court and gallery think he is, on the basis of the Kereke accusations and what he did to the banking public when he was Governor.

Kereke admits with much ease that he professionally hand-held Gono for about eight years. If Gono went about stealing gold, looting tractors, making company shares disappear and pilfering ill-gotten foreign currency, what advice was Kereke giving him? You can’t handhold a person and leave a man to steal so much for a full eight years, otherwise you would be the dumbest handler of all time.

Obviously, Gono’s monetary policies and quasi-fiscal actions during the period he was at the helm of the RBZ, but particularly when Kereke was his advisor, were a result of the research that Kereke did and the recommendations he made. If Kereke didn’t do that, then what is the research that he says he conducted for the Governor? I haven’t heard him talk about which clean research he did for Gono, and that is why I am asking.

Kereke was also responsible for advising Gono on policy issues. Most of these policies, in the eyes of the suffering public, were disastrous. The choice to use newsprint to print “money” and then off-load it on the black market was certainly a policy issue to “rescue” a sinking political regime that blamed everything on so-called, non-existent sanctions. That choice was illegal and there is no way in which Kereke can wriggle out of this, because he advised “Your Governor” on policy matters.

Let’s give Kereke the benefit of doubt and assume that, while Gono was allegedly busy stealing public money and raiding depositors’ accounts, he was away doing “Your Governor’s” doctoral research. Does that place him anywhere close to sainthood? Of course, not! Carrying out studies for someone in the manner he admits to have done is morally abominable and borders on criminality. Surely, Gono did not point a gun at him and he could have declined helping him like that. In other words, he colluded in Gono’s reported fraudulent acquisition of that doctoral diploma.

While Kereke must go ahead and expose what he says were excesses by Gono, he should not try to convince us that he is pure, because he is not. – To comment on this article, please contact [email protected]

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis
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