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Is Zimbabwe’s Gono going?

April 21, 2009

The acknowledgement by Zimbabwe’s central bank governor that it raided the private bank accounts of companies and donors to fund President Robert Mugabe’s government during the economic crisis has increased speculation over his fate under the new national unity government.

Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono said the central bank took foreign currency from private accounts to help pay for some $2 billion in loans to state-owned companies and utilities and for power and grain imports. He said the government still had to repay about $1.2 billion, so the bank could repay the money it owes.

Heading the central bank at a time Zimbabwe was suffering economic collapse and hyperinflation that touched at least 231 million percent a year (according to official figures) was never going to be a badge of honour for the governor, but as he made clear in his statement, Zimbabwe’s problems went beyond economics.

“It was a political problem and not an economic one that drove us into the difficulties this nation experienced, and quasi-fiscal operations were a response to those political challenges we have now resolved through the inclusive government,” the statement said. “Our call is to let bygones be bygones and for everyone and every entity to start anew and open a new page.”

Gono has come under pressure from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to resign since the former opposition party joined Mugabe in a unity government in February. Western diplomats have also said Gono’s departure could help bring a resumption of badly needed aid.

Are his days numbered now Tsvangirai and Mugabe seem to be working together more closely than many might have expected?


In an extraordinary turn of events, There have never been so many Central Bankers who are now all but in name apparently ardent Disciples of Gideon Gono Economics. Mr. King and Mr. Geithner have turned on the Printing Presses and it is a cruel twist of fate that at the very moment that Gonoeconomics moves from the fringe to the centre, that he should face calls for his removal.

Aly-Khan Satchu


Turning on the printing press as a monetary policy measure is one thing….but raiding or shall I say ‘borrowing’ money from private bank accounts without consent is unethical and tantamount to abuse of the central bank’s regulatory powers.

Posted by Tina | Report as abusive

Let bygones be bygones! Well, well here is the man who single-handed caused the nation’s GDP to fall by a staggering 14% according to IMF and God only knows what else he has done. Least people forget; Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis has a human price tag; life expectancy has plummeted from 65 years in 1980 to a misery 34 years. Many, many Zimbabwean lives have been lost unnecessarily. And what does Gideon Gono, without doubt one of the key players in this tragic tale of human suffering and death, say – “let bygones be bygones!” No way!

Mr Gono, you and your fellow Mugabe acolytes have a lot to answer for. Yes during your heydays you were untouchable and did as you pleased. For years you have lived lives of amazing comfort and luxury in the face of grinding poverty and despair of the masses you systematically cheated and robbed. If there is justice and common decency in this world then surely people like Gideon Gono must account for all their past. At least, the money, farms and all the looted must be taken away from them. The worry is whether Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC leaders can deliver even that bottom line!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

This man is just as responsible as Mugabe for destroying Zimbabwe. Gideon Gono is a THIEF, and Mugabe is the receiver of stolen goods. They need to be put on trial, convicted and sent to jail for these crimes that have cost thousands of people their lives.

Justice, where are you?

Posted by Limnothrissa | Report as abusive


Yes some countries have turned to printing money as a possible way out of the present economic crisis but it is erroneous to put that on par with what Zimbabwe has been doing. Gono turned to printing money to finance the regime’s reckless spending and much of the expenditure of luxuries for the ruling elite. On the other hand the countries printing money are doing so to stimulate demand and thus dig their economy out of the recession. Where as there is some restrain in the later, in Zimbabwe Gono was a lose cannon; when the number of zeroes got out of hand he simply chopped some of the zeroes off! Gono’s measured fuelled inflation and accelerated economic down turn.

Now, when printing money could have been the answer to Zimbabwe’s crippling economic woes, the country has forfeited that option! The Zimbabwe dollar has lost all it value the Zimbabwe government decided to scrap the currency in favour of the US$ and SA Rand. I am sure the irony of this was not lost to you, Tina!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Surely, surely don’t tell us now is time that you realized that Zimbabwe’s problem stemmed from Politics & not Economics , so it took you 10yrs to realize.

Gono should know that the statement of “bygones being bygones” applies to cases which are more to the lighter side of things but5 as for yours this is a real prototype of Gross Negligence and misappropriation of state resources.These guys accumulated extra ordinary wealth , living very lavish lives and now they come up 10years letter wishing everything could swept under the carpet,Noways !!! even the so called most forgiving person would not pardon you on this one.If my memory serves me right during his days this guy used to roll with top of the range vehicles including Mercedes(Brabus)…

Actually a clean audit should be done on this guy and his cronies at least the nation could make do with stolen resources instead of waiting for Aid when we all perfectly know people who benefited illegally from the setup of things and now they have the nerve to come out and say the country is broke after siphoning out its own resources.

Hameno zvekuregerarana for me is a non-stater this time, we have seen too much and we still have competent profeesional who can vie for the same job…


Posted by Chisingaperi Chinoshura | Report as abusive

Gideon Gonos distribution of Mercedes to MPs is just another example of the entrenched thivery and corruption that has brought the people of Zimbabwe to starvation. I am tired of hearing that seizing farms was “land reform”. This was simply Mugabe stealing farms to give to his supporters in order to win an election. A payment for the murder and torture of MDC supporters! Call a spade a spade. That was not land reform but simply THEFT and bribery irrespective of the wishes of ordinary Zimbabweans, and with no care about their welfare.

Gono and Mugabe belong in jail. How long will it be before we see justice?

Posted by Limnothrissa | Report as abusive

I think Mr Gono is right. While revenge might be a sweet thing, what good is it going to bring? Why focus all our energy on retribution when we have a much bigger task at hand – nation rebuilding? Zimbabwe doesn’t have that luxury. All we need to do is kick out people like Gono and find competent replacements who have the nation’s interests at heart.

Posted by Nyamudzira | Report as abusive

Gono is a bona fide rat, not the micky mouse variety. were does he find the courage to ask any one to let bygone be bygones. It is the prerogative of responsible Zimbabweans to decide on whether he merits clemency of any sort. He is definetly deluded because of the period of time he was allowed to bring ruin and suffering on innocent citizens. He should flee down a rat hole before the rat catchers deal with him.


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