Gono remains our choice – Zanu PF

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF reiterated yesterday that it had picked former Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono to become the new Buhera Senator despite opposition from some members of the party.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo insisted yesterday that Manicaland voted for Gono to replace the late Kumbirai Kangai, who was declared a national hero and buried at the National Heroes Acre in August last year, and the politburo has ratified the decision, with only a handful of ruling party hawks opposing his appointment.

“We go with the recommendation of the politburo, the recommendation of Manicaland,” Gumbo told the Daily News by telephone yesterday. 

“Who are we to try to change what the people want?”

The decision has been challenged by party hawks holding influence over the State media, which has called the long-time Mugabe loyalist “the wrong person” for the high-profile job of leading the Buhera bloc in the Upper House.

Those resisting Gono’s nomination argue that his name was not on the list of names submitted to Zec.

They claim candidates who must take over from Kangai are either Monica Mutsvangwa, Judith Mawire or Mike Nyambuya.

The 54-year-old still needs to be confirmed by Mugabe, who is expected to announce Gono’s elevation to Manicaland Senator by assenting to the Electoral Amendment Bill as early as today, in a set-piece event that seeks to stamp the president’s authority on his party.

The appointment had been scuttled by Zanu PF hawks that thwarted Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, used to conduct the July 31 polls, until they expired in December.

Authoritative sources said “people afraid of losing their jobs but holding key posts” in steering the Bill through Parliament, prevented the Electoral Amendment Bill from being tabled in the House.

The tabling of the Bill took ages, as hawks, key in bringing the Electoral Amendment Bill to the National Assembly for its first reading, resisted Gono’s appointment. 

Parliament then held marathon talks with leaders across the spectrum throughout the last five months, in a bid to resolve the leadership vacuum “as quickly as possible” and “deliver an effective solution to the crisis”.

Eventually, in May, Parliament passed the Bill.

It has since been polished and sent to Mugabe for assent, and the notice could be published in the Government Gazette today.

The Daily News understands even after ascension, internal processes may take time because the same people resisting the appointment hold keys to the actual appointment of Gono as Senator.

If appointed, Gono, a turnaround strategist credited with  rebuilding and re-branding the defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce of Zimbabwe into Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) or Jewel Bank, would become the first ex-Central Bank governor to move into politics in less than a year.

After virtually saving government from collapse through his sanctions busting measures while at the helm of the Central Bank during the chaotic 2008/09 period, Gono is expected to play a key role in reviving the country’s battered economy if he joins government.

He was unreachable for comment at his Lunar Chickens offices yesterday, amid reports he was on a business visit to Asia and would only be back in Zimbabwe after the Heroes’ holiday.

Curiously, Gono was expected to deliver a lecture at the Midlands Agricultural Show that opens in Gweru today where he was due to receive a prestigious “life membership award” from the patron and executive committee of the Midlands Agricultural Show Society.

He was lined up to present a paper on “Indigenisation: the way forward.”

The State media was awash yesterday with experts who contradicted the politburo’s position on Gono’s senatorial status.

But Gumbo told the Daily News that the legal experts quoted questioning Gono’s appointment “have agendas”.

“Everyone has their agenda, journalists have agendas, these unnamed experts perhaps have their own agenda,” Gumbo said.

“The politburo has made a political decision, everyone in the party must ensure that it’s upheld. I pronounced what has been hammered by the politburo.”

During a visit in May to Gono’s New Donnington Farm, Mugabe was unequivocal that Gono was the embodiment of a pro-integration, consensus-favouring, empire-building clique

who steered the country through sanctions-induced hardships.

Mugabe warned the State media against using extraordinary measures to impose a media blackout on Gono.

He said the “Press” has embarked on a campaign to stifle Gono, which he said started with unofficial censorship and self-censorship, and quickly evolved into open gagging of the Senator-designate.

During the May visit, Mugabe hit hard at people trying to protect their jobs by bad mouthing and scheming Gono’s downfall and vowed to diminish the power of such bureaucrats.

“Hanzi vangatitorere mabasa. Vanokutorerai mabasa api? Mune mabasa enyu amakapiwa nani? Handiti ndini ndakavapa ini (They say he will get their jobs. What job? Who gave you those jobs? Isn’t it me who gave you those jobs?),” Mugabe said.

Gono, is a close confidante of Mugabe and enjoys a close personal relationship with the First Family.

He has not revealed which faction he belongs to, but has said he “belongs to the president, Cde RG Mugabe.”

“Wherever the President is, that’s where I belong,” he said last year.

Comments (5)

thumbs up for the economic expert who authoured zimbabwe's economic downfall

musona - 1 August 2014

Don't we have a Sankara-type in Zimbabwe??

selele - 1 August 2014

Dr. Gono is showing up as an obvious successor to the President

Stepheen Manonge - 1 August 2014

thank you musona

gora - 1 August 2014

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