RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono says he does not want to be dragged into a “mudslinging match” with businessmen aggrieved by government’s anti-corruption crackdown.
In an interview yesterday, Gono said it would be futile for him to engage people who want to blame “the governor for everything including changes in the weather”.
This comes after sharp criti-cism of his role by business mag-nate Mutumwa Mawere last week.
He said he would like to maintain a cool head while continuing to do his work “without fear or favour”.
“My office and duties preclude me from engaging in mudslinging with anybody,” Gono said. “They can attack me but it doesn’t matter. I accept that as an occupational hazard. However, I can assure you that I will continue to discharge my duties without fear or favour.”
Gono came under fire from Mawere for “displaying venom” in his duties. This followed Mawere’s arrest and a court appearance in South Africa on allegations of externalising billions of dollars through his local companies.
Mawere slammed Gono, saying by instigating the arrests on what Mawere called malicious and unsubstantiated charges he was behaving more like a police commissioner than a reserve bank governor.
Ignorance of company law and corporate governance, Mawere said in another interview, were at the heart of his arrest. He said it was ridiculous to pick him up for day-to-day operational issues like “filling in of CD1 forms and invoicing”.
Mawere denied speculation he was fighting with Zanu PF administration secretary Emmerson Mnangagwa, long regarded as the political godfather behind his sprawling business empire, and that this was one of the reasons for his arrest.
“Why should I fight with him? Where does Mnangagwa come in? I don’t expect the Speaker of Parliament (Mnangagwa) to be part of that agenda but I can see Gono’s fingerprints. The architect of this is not in parliament but at the RBZ,” Mawere claimed.
Gono said, instead of reacting to Mawere’s remarks, he would like to “urge all stakeholders to remain focused on the economic recovery agenda”.
Mawere said it was baffling that he was regarded as President Robert Mugabe’s “crony” and a “saboteur” against the system at the same time.
He said from this contradiction he had no choice but to conclude that it was “ruthless persecution” by people “destabilising the economy” via vindictive agendas.