I'm not to blame - Gono

2009-10-13 08:47

Special Report

Mugabe slams Europe's 'homosexual nonsense'
Mugabe slams Europe's 'homosexual nonsense'

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has lashed out at Europe's "homosexual nonsense" and has condemned the refusal of its leaders to accept his grip on power in his latest marathon tirade.

Harare - Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank chief Gideon Gono, who presided over the collapse of the local currency, insisted he was not to blame for "killing" the nation's economy.

He again rejected calls for his resignation after President Robert Mugabe's unilateral decision to appoint him to a new five-year term last year - one of the major disputes facing the eight-month-old unity government.

"The immorality and irrationality of the whole argument is that 'Gono must go because he printed money and he killed this economy.' That's a white lie because no single individual can harm or kill an economy," he said.

Gono's tenure at the helm of the Reserve Bank saw inflation soar from already staggering four-digit figures when he took office in 2003 to numbers estimated in many multiples of billions last year.

He introduced new bank notes, sometimes every month, in denominations that reached 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars - even after repeatedly slashing digits to keep the numbers manageable.

Authorisation from government

The government finally abandoned the currency in January and now uses US dollars as its currency of reference.

Gono also stands accused of siphoning off state money into secret accounts in Asia and Europe, a charge he denies.

"Whatever I did had authorisation from the government of the day," said Gono, a former commercial banker.

He described his job as "a plumber mending burst pipes. I prevented this country from descending into chaos like Somalia."

In his defence, Gono said "bureaucrats" blocked his proposals for economic reforms. He points out that he drew ire from party loyalists for criticising import and price controls that left most store shelves empty two years ago.

Single biggest obstacle

He insisted that feuding between Zanu-PF and the rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has done more than his policies to hurt the economy, which has been shrinking since 1997.

"The greatest economic impediment has been political quarrels between Zanu -PF and MDC. There was never commonality of vision. While some were building, others were destroying," Gono said.

He also blamed western nations for undermining the economy with a travel ban, asset freeze and other targeted sanctions imposed on himself, Mugabe and other government officials, even though the sanctions don't affect trade and investment in Zimbabwe.

"The single biggest obstacle to our economic progress has been the imposition of sanctions against this country," Gono said.

The Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed in September 2008, which led to the creation of the unity government in February, calls for Mugabe to "consult" with the MDC leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on major appointments.

'Professional differences'

Mugabe unilaterally reappointed Gono in October last year while still in talks with MDC over key government posts, but the central bank boss said he was properly named.

"I am definite that the removal of sanctions was mentioned in the GPA and not me," he said.

However, he conceded that unity deal was the road map against which the government is "legitimately being judged".

Now, without control over the money supply, Gono has found his role sharply curtailed and his influence overshadowed by Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who was drawn from the MDC.

Gono is publicly feuding with Biti over control of $400m in resources from the International Monetary Fund, but said their sparring was purely professional.

"It's healthy to have professional differences," he said.


Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  gideon gono  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24

  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.