Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Reason for Gono to Go-now

The Gideon Gono battle goes on with Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the MDC anxious for his removal while Mugabe and his cohorts desperately want him to remain at the helm – presumably for two reasons. First because if he goes, a can of worms from the past may be opened. All sorts of horror stories will then emerge as to who has benefitted from his largesse and at what astronomical amounts. Second because if he goes, he will not be there in the near or distant future to continue with the largesse. The largesse has apparently evaporated for the present. I am told that the contractor who was painting Gono’s Borrowdale mansion has moved off the property due to lack of payment.

Last week the Zimbabwe Independent provided refreshing insight into further inappropriate activity of the Reserve Bank Governor. Five or so years ago The RBZ appropriated the assets of two banks – Trust Bank and Royal Bank and formed their own bank – the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG). Four years ago a judgement was handed down by the Supreme Court that the acquisition of the assets was an illegal act, yet nothing was ever done to repair the illegal damage. Now in the ‘New Zimbabwe’ the assets are to be returned to their rightful owners.

Gono has made a few statements of late attempting to justify his blatant theft of foreign currency from a number of accounts, his withholding of foreign exchange payouts to the mines and the farmers. He justifies his actions by claiming that in raiding the accounts (or withholding payments) he was ‘keeping the country afloat’. In fact all he did was to create the conditions for less and less production and economic activity in the pursuit of personal wealth and the distribution of wealth to other undeserving individuals. As I have said before, Gono and those who received the stolen property should be prosecuted in the criminal courts for theft and receiving respectively.

This last week CABS – a well known private financial institution has advertised that it will provide account holders with interest of up to 7% per annum on US dollars deposited for a fixed period of 90 days, lesser interest rates for dollars deposited for 60 days, 30 days and 7 days. I remarked on this to a friend whose response was quite simple. “As long as Gono is running the Reserve Bank, I’ll keep my money under my pillow in preference to leaving it anywhere where he might get his hands on it.”

No-one, it seems, trusts the man - not the international aid agencies, not the international governments and not the man in the street.

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