HARARE - Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono has said his ex-adviser Munyaradzi Kereke is basing corruption claims against him on false allegations driven by malice and a desire to settle personal grudges.
Kereke filed a Constitutional Court application, seeking to push the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to investigate Gono on graft charges, allegedly committed during the time he was at the helm of the central bank.
Gono, who is cited as a second respondent in the application said in his heads of argument filed yesterday that Kereke’s claims were baseless.
“The instant application is clearly one that is short on the law but long on heat, malice and verbiage,” Gono said.
He said for Kereke’s application to succeed, it must be established among other issues, whether the claim is justifiable or if the Constitutional Court has the jurisdiction to grant the remedy sought.
Kereke told the court that failure by Zacc to investigate allegations of abuse of office, corruption and theft was unconstitutional, adding the commission had an obligation to receive and consider complaints from the public.
However, Gono, who is represented by Tendai Biti, said the issues that need to be satisfied for the application to succeed were cumulative in nature.
“The applicant submits that the instant application is so procedurally and substantially fatally defective that it should be dismissed with costs calculated on a scale as between attorney and
client,” Gono said.
The former RBZ boss further told the court failure by Kereke to cite the proper parties like the Commission not its chairman and the RBZ, which he claims to be an interested party in the matter, must ensure the failure of the application.
Gono said he conducted business on behalf of RBZ and if ever the central bank had issues with him, it should be the direct complainant.
He said the RBZ was an interested party, considering that in the event of the court ordering an investigation, the central bank would be required to open and avail its books and official documents, among other requisites.
Kereke made claims that Gono bribed officials from Zacc, saying huge amounts of money were moved from the central bank to the commission.
However, Gono said allowing such a claim to succeed would open a floodgate of “frivolous and vexatious applications”.
He said Kereke is approaching the court with dirty hands, basing his allegations on malice, adding that the former advisor had flouted his conditions of service, including the bank’s code of conduct.
Gono said Kereke had made several claims including treating him like a criminal by laying false allegations, yet he had not been tried and convicted.
“Affidavits cannot be used as a football field in which one party reflects his or her command of the foul language. The applicant’s papers are replete with explicit details of this offending language.
“Litigation is not a contestation of one’s proximity to ill and disrespectful language,” Gono said.
He further told the court Kereke had failed to establish any facts to prove that Zacc had acted in violation of a constitutional mandate, adding that the Constitutional Court was not a forum for personal grudges or political scores.
Zacc also urged the court to dismiss Kereke’s application with costs.
The commission’s chairperson argued that the body had “executed its mandate within the confines of the law.”
“First respondent (Zacc) will continue to execute its mandate within the confines of the law and without interference from anyone”, Zacc’s chairperson Denford Chirindo said.
“There is therefore no justification for the applicant to call upon this honourable Constitutional Court to order, direct or control the first respondent to execute its constitutional mandate.
Kereke had attached a letter to his application that he wrote to the commission in 2012, in which he chronicled some of the alleged corrupt activities by Gono between the year 2006 and 2009.
“Applicant’s appeal to this honourable court is not just an invitation to violate the constitutional provisions guaranteeing the independence of the first respondent (Zacc) but it is also an invitation to the court to join him in playing politics,” Chirindo said.