Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

'Gono, Zimbabwe's next President'

by Staff Reporter
09 Jan 2014 at 07:38hrs | Views
FORMER Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) advisor to then Governor Gideon Gono, Munyaradzi Kereke Wednesday made sensational accusations that the ex-central bank boss had claimed that he will be the next president of the country and commander in chief of the defence forces.

In his answering affidavit to Gono's response in the raging Constitutional Court challenge in which the Bikita West MP wants the Anti-Corruption Commission of Zimbabwe compelled to investigate the ex-RBZ czar for alleged corruption, Kereke averred Gono effectively became a "self-proclaimed Prime Minister of Zimbabwe".

Kereke is alleging that Gono stole $37,5m, R1,4m and £21K from the central bank during his tenure.

"Given the extensive powers that the second respondent (Gono) had unilaterally extrapolated to himself, calling himself 'Zimbabwe's next President and Commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces', my determination to report his ill ways became a very dangerous enterprise, as I did not know who exactly to report to," reads Kereke's answering affidavit. "To then suggest that I never reported breaches by the second respondent is yet again, an act of blatant falsehoods."

Kereke said audits by RBZ external auditors Deloitte and Touche, BDO Kudenga and KPMG proved that Gono had dipped his fingers into the bank vault.

He was optimistic that the auditors would be subpoenaed to testify in the case.

"Given the gravity of the matters at hand, I wish to declare that at the material time, leave of the Honourable Court will be sought for the three external audit firms to be subpoenaed to the court to testify to confirm that indeed the audit findings I make reference to and tender to the Honourable Court, together with the attendant findings, are indeed products of their diligent professional work as they audited the RBZ," Kareke averred.

He praised the audit firms for not only being thorough in their work, but also for being firm in putting down on paper their objective findings during their course of work

"The second respondent (Gono) gagged all such reports and made sure no one in government had sight of the detailed Audit Management Reports for the 10 years he was at the central bank as governor," Kereke alleged. "He would defuse any internal efforts to have the detailed audit reports widely circulated by alleging that he would have 'already taken care of it'."

The legislator claimed Gono had assumed unbridled power to the extent of appointing himself a de-facto prime minister.

"The second respondent's near escape from scrutiny and oversight in so far as verbatim of what the external auditors said about his criminal activities was also most likely, as a result of the opium of too much power and unbridled latitude the second respondent had at the central bank, particularly over the period 2004-2008," Kereke alleged. "He took it upon himself to usurp various institutional powers, almost becoming a self-proclaimed Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in the process overriding constitutionally set guidelines on safeguarding public resources."

Kereke graphically described his relationship with Gono, claiming the former governor ignored his advice.

"A medical doctor can advise a patient not to eat too much cake to cut weight as foreclosure of ill-health associated with overweight. When the person being advised resists that advice and eats too much cake, the doctor cannot be held culpable for the ensuing ill-health.

"Annexure 3, I wrote to the second respondent on October 5 2011 impressing upon him on the need to cooperate with inquiries from the police and he reacted very violently as shown in his own handwriting on the face of the memo, telling me to back off yet on 30 September the same year he said 'Dr Kereke urgently respond and sign out as advisor'," Gono's former advisor claimed

Annexure 3, as indicated by Kereke is a memorandum by the then governor's advisor calling on his boss to respond to police inquiries on the International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights issues.

A handwritten response on the memo that Kereke now claimed was authored by Gono reads in part: "Please ask the relevant officer for crime and tell me or better still call me to avoid unintended misunderstandings. We are a compliant institution and as stated before I prefer to deal with them directly and not through anyone else in the bank, unless I have delegated that aspect. My PAs are well positioned to direct them to me, then I can delegate if need be."

Kereke also attached numerous letters and memoranda, some of which clearly show growing animosity between the governor and his subordinate, including one in which Kereke claimed Gono blatantly refused to disclose how he had used over $700 000 on the auditors.

Gono, in his response said Kereke needed psychiatric evaluation and denied defrauding the RBZ and abusing authority.

Kereke said Gono's response did not specifically addressed the allegations he raised.

Gono's tenure at the RBZ came to an end late 2013 and is reportedly now headed for the country's Upper House as a senator in Manicaland province.

The court is yet to set a date for the trial of the case.

Gono has hired MDC-T secretary-general, lawyer Tendai Biti to fight his case in the court.

Source - Zim Mail