Kereke heaps praise on Gono

HARARE - Munyaradzi Kereke, Zanu PF MP for Bikita West, yesterday uncharacteristically thanked retired Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono for saving Zimbabwe’s economy through quasi-fiscal activities during his tenure as head of the central bank.

Kereke made a volte face after Gono said he was ready to explain how the Bank’s $1,3 billion debt was accrued over the years and affirmed parliamentarians’ need to “demand answers when not clear about certain issues”.

This comes after the august house, led by finance committee chair David Chapfika and Kereke, had grilled Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa over the long-standing obligations.

After the two on Monday led an assault — largely blaming Gono for the economic ruin — the former Justice minister shot down the criticism, saying the ex-governor had actually saved the country through his quasi-fiscal operations, which were sanctioned by government.

Contributing to debate on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Debt Assumption Bill yesterday, Kereke, who has been readmitted into Zanu PF, sang a different tune, saying  Gono actually did a sterling job in saving the economy at a time the country was facing sanctions-induced hardships.

“I thank the former governor for the sterling job he did in discharging his duties; as it was his mandate to superintendent over the financial matters of the country,” Kereke said.

“The country had no food, fertilisers medicines etc. Gono had to carry out some quasi-fiscal activities to save the country.

“I am talking about this because I was at the RBZ at that time and I know the role he played and what was happening as it was a difficult period in the country,” said the former advisor to Gono.

MDC legislators queried Kereke’s abrupt U-turn.  

“Actually we are surprised by Kereke because only yesterday, he was telling us not to support the RBZ Debt Assumption Bill but he has changed. What has happened here?” asked MDC MP Nelson Chamisa.

Jessie Majome, another MDC MP, said all Zanu PF legislators who had benefited from the quasi-fiscal activities and agriculture mechanisation programme must recuse themselves from debating the motion.

Gono had earlier said he was ready to explain the RBZ’s debt profile to the legislature if given the opportunity.

“I am constrained… by laws and ethics of banking, which do not permit discussion of bank-client affairs… unauthorised persons.

“In addition, my contractual obligations as a former governor preclude me from commenting in detail and with specifics on matters, which a sitting governor is capable of dealing with at the bank,” the Lunar Chickens owner said in a statement to the Daily News.

“However, the little I can say is that I stand on the side of truth and fairness to all RBZ stakeholders who include taxpayers, the ministry of Finance… creditors, local and international bankers… and government in its widest definition,” Gono said, adding he was “not one-sided as some people are showing themselves to be”.

“I support them (Chapfika and Kereke) not because they are correct… as legitimate spokespersons on the validity, accuracy or otherwise of the debt, no, but for their determination in wanting every penny of the $1,3 billion debt explained.

“That kind of stance enhances credibility… and indeed the standing of the august house itself.”

While Gono has emphasised that “such explanations can easily be explained without going into details or breaking the country’s confidentiality laws”, he said he was “one who supports the notion that no single cent… should be taken over by the State for anyone’s benefit”.

As Chinamasa became the latest Treasury boss to support the Harare businessman after former Finance minister Tendai Biti and others, the ex-RBZ chief said the Finance minister and current governor John Mangudya should also be applauded for their efforts to explain the debt and pushing for its takeover.

Comments (5)

This Kereke thing is just one stupid fela..on day he wants people to believe Gon was a F****ng useless Governor, now h is of the opinion that he saved the country's economy??? What an irony. One wonders how much Kereke was paid as out of court settlement??? Tell the nation Kereke...since when do you like and respect Gono?

Garikayi - 6 February 2015

I am beginning to think that after all Gono wrote his PhD thesis on his own. Kereke is a joke. Just that Musakwa is too calm otherwise he would represent the constituency far better than this idiot.

selele - 6 February 2015

Of course he was paid to shut up. Tendai Biti too.

Chenai Chipikiri - 9 February 2015

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