Zimbabwe

I'm not to blame - Gono

2009-10-13 08:47

Special Report

No show for Zim's Mujuru
No show for Zim's Mujuru

Embattled Zimbabwean vice president Joice Mujuru has not turned up for a meeting of President Robert Mugabe's politburo.

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.

- SAPA

Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  gideon gono  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

No show for Zim's Mujuru

2014-11-26 23:51

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

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

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.