HomeNewsGideon Gono leaves RBZ, eyes Senate

Gideon Gono leaves RBZ, eyes Senate

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Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono yesterday bade farewell to the banking sector, ending a turbulent 10 years at the helm of the central bank in which hyperinflation shot to unprecedented levels.

OBEY MANAYITI

This came amid reports he had been chosen to fill the Zanu PF Senate seat left vacant following the death of party stalwart Buhera Senator Kumbirai Kangai in August this year.

Gono is said to have outshone other aspirants when the party’s Buhera district members met to decide on who should be seconded to fill the vacant post.

In a letter by Manicaland provincial chairman John Mvundura addressed to party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, the Buhera district proposed Gono should fill the vacancy.

“Following our recent telephone conversation reference the above matter, I proceeded to advise the Buhera Zanu PF party leadership to come up with a candidate for the vacant senatorial position,” Mvundura wrote on Thursday.

“I am happy to advise that the leadership of Buhera District have provided the name of the candidate agreed on. The name of the candidate is none other than Cde Gideon Gono. I, therefore, accordingly forward this name to you, comrade.”

But, Gono yesterday professed ignorance over the matter.

“That is news to me,” he said without entertaining further questions.

According to Zanu PF sources, former Central Intelligence Organisation operative Shadreck Chipanga was also eyeing the seat.

Other districts such as Chipinge reportedly felt since they were not represented in the Senate this was an opportune moment for them to be considered. Some Zanu PF supporters were of the view that Gono would add weight in the Senate considering his wide experience in the banking sector.

Yesterday, Gono —who has interests in farming, real estate and media — appointed his deputies Charity Dhliwayo and Khupukile Mlambo to act as governor until a substantive candidate was found.

“To this end . . . Dr Charity Dhliwayo will be the first of the two to act as Governor for the period 1 December 2013 to 28 February 2014 and Dr K. Mlambo to also act for three months after, before reverting back to Dr Dhliwayo if no decision is made before then,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is that I leave these premises today (yesterday) after 120 months of continuous occupation and it is a long time indeed. Even the law recognises that this is a lengthy period and says one must leave to give way to a new occupant!”

He said was leaving office a happy man given that Cabinet had on Tuesday, agreed, to the government take-over of all Bank debts incurred by the central bank on behalf of the State.

“Some of these debts were incurred as way back as during our pre-independence era right through the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. An erroneous impression had been created in the market to the effect that the entire $1,3 billion was created during my era of administration. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

“For the record, only 45% of that debt was created by survival circumstances of my era while 55% was rolled over years such as the IMF, World Bank, ADB loans of the early 80s/90s, Malaysia and South African central bank debts among others. With the takeover of RBZ debt will follow the Bank’s recapitalisation and provision of funds for lender of last resort. I am leaving the bank after successfully laying the foundation for all the above to take place for the good of our sector and the economy in general.”

He paid tribute to President Robert Mugabe, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and ex-Finance minister Tendai Biti for their support.

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