MY thanks to MDC secretary for economic affairs Tendai Biti “More self-congratulatory lies”, (Businessdigest, January 28) for summing up in one brief sentence my sentiments regarding Gideon Gono’s “progress”
as Reserve Bank governor during the past 13 months: “From there on, Gono stumbled from one mismanagement of the crisis to another.”
“No bank will collapse,” Gono says (September 2004). “Failure is not an option” is his constant watchword.
Why then do we read “ZABG in stillbirth” and “ZABG opening set to stir legal furore”, excellent articles by Shakeman Mugari in the same issue; “Gono economic with info on platinum”, (Conrad Dube); “CFX bosses’ jobs on the line”, (Godfrey Marawanyika — didn’t I read that Gono’s Reserve Bank had given its blessing to the merger between Century and CFX?); and “Reservations over Gono’s 2005 roadmap” (Conrad Dube) — an excellent hard-hitting issue.
On the Homelink front, Gono said that the Homelink initiative last year alone remitted US$54,8 million, (“New forex deal for exporters” by Godfrey Marawanyika in the same issue).
Don’t I recall Gono anticipating US$100m a year from this source? And what a lot of nonsense those much-vaunted trips to the United States, England and South Africa were boosting non-existent support for the scheme, with the mega-adverts and the pull-outs on top quality paper — no expense spared!
The wondrous reduction of the inflation rate to 133% by the end of 2004 would be a true cause for congratulations to the hard-pressed governor.
But I am at one with Winston Churchill: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
And with experience of dealing with the Central Statistical Office (CSO) figures in an earlier life, I am more than cautious in accepting the immense drop in the inflation rate without question — particularly when that CSO office is a section of the Ministry of Finance of which Gono is virtually head.
When Simba Makoni was Minister of Finance, I slept easy, knowing the country’s finances were in good hands. But now I am concerned. When will Gono settle down and stop experimenting with the nation’s finances?
When will he settle down to reasoned remedies of the nation’s financial woes?