Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono claimed credit for the dismissal from Zanu PF and government of former Information minister Jonathan Moyo and also told US Embassy officials he would be happy to see Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa “wounded”, according to leaked US diplomatic cables.
Gono met former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell in December 2004, claiming to be a “messenger” from President Robert Mugabe who, the RBZ chief said, was keen to see an improvement in relations between the two countries.
During the 90-minute meeting, Gono is said to have claimed that President Mugabe would soon dismiss Moyo and Chinamasa over their involvement in the Tsholotsho saga, adding the Zanu PF leader was also unhappy with Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and his then Foreign Affairs colleague, Stan Mudenge.
However, Gono told NewZimbabwe.com on Saturday most of Dell’s claims amounted to “fiction, opinion and character assassination” which were deliberately stripped of their context.
He said the events related to took place at a time Zanu PF and government officials decided to employ a “good cop/bad cop strategy” in their dealings with the West as the country battled crippling economic sanctions.
“If you draw conclusions outside the full context in which things are said and discussed, you run the risk of missing the real issues completely. Beyond these remarks, I have nothing else to say,” Gono said.
Yesterday, Gono said: “There is no air to clear. You know what you did last week. I have already commented to other media outlets.”
Last week, NewsDay published a similar report under the headline “Gono sups with Mugabe enemies”.
The report alleged Gono enjoyed cordial relations with the former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Still, Dell claimed the RBZ chief told him President Mugabe was furious that an unnamed local banker had funded the infamous Tsholotsho meeting which allegedly discussed possible changes to the Zanu PF top leadership.
In the latest report, Gono said the banker had mistaken President Mugabe’s close association with Moyo and Emmerson Mnangagwa — then the Speaker of Parliament — for the President’s endorsement of the so-called Tsholotsho conspiracy.
“By having spent four hours at the wedding of Mnangagwa’s child, (President) Mugabe conveyed the false impression to the Zanu PF faithful that the Speaker was his heir apparent,” Ambassador Dell said in his report.
“Likewise, Information minister Moyo’s frequent visits to the President had conveyed the false impression that he was speaking on behalf of (President) Mugabe, including when he organised the Tsholotsho meeting.”
Gono predicted Moyo would be fired from his party and government positions, adding many in Zanu PF welcomed his demise.
“Gono predicted Mugabe would not include Moyo in the new (Zanu PF) politburo (adding that) without a politburo seat, Moyo could not plausibly continue as the government’s official spokesman. Gono confirmed that many in Zanu PF were fed up with Jonathan (Moyo) and his approach and supported his ouster,” Dell said.