THE implication of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono in illegal foreign currency deals requires that he be suspended from his job while investigations are conducted either to clear his name or to gather evidence upon which to prosecute him.
If it is true that Gono slipped money, unofficially or officially, into the hands of people he knew or ought to have known would use the money to source foreign currency from the parallel market, he must be dismissed from his job if this country still has a leader, even just one on paper.
It is inconceivable that a man who is being accused of handing over public money through the back door to some briefcase businessmen, even if it was just one cent of taxpayers’ money, for the purposes of trading on the unauthorised foreign currency exchange market should be at the helm of the central bank.
Unless his name is cleared, an interim replacement for Gono must be appointed to handle the functions of the central bank in a proper way while the actions of the incumbent governor are being thoroughly scrutinised.
The central bank is such an important part of our monetary system that there should be no room to entertain a civil servant whose conduct or trustworthiness falls below the bar of public expectation.
Is it true that the RBZ governor has connections with front companies that buy hard currency on the parallel market? Is it true that this governor had a hand in creating directly or indirectly someone that can be referred to or that can meet the status of a cash baron?
If it’s true, then Gono must be held directly responsible for the cash shortages that have affected the entire country and brought public life to a standstill before and after the Christmas period.
This would mean this governor would be equally responsible for the compromised security of people that characterised this traumatic episode. Many were left immobilised and failed to meet important periodic medical procedures. HIV and Aids patients missed supplementary dietary needs and medication.
Thousands of people who had urgent and time-sensitive transactions were denied their fundamental right to use the money they had worked for. Millions were left to starve while their money was locked in banks and losing value.
It is only in Zimbabwe where a governor accused of such a treasonable offence against a people’s economy remains and stays put as if the matter in question has no consequence over how people view the national institutions that must and are expected to deliver economic stability.
If in principle Attorney-General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele could be asked to step down to allow an investigation into his alleged interference in a case of a fugitive banker, why are we not seeing the same essentials of justice being followed through in a more serious matter that affects the entire nation?
What is the purpose of a central bank other than to create stability by managing the value of the local currency as an instrument of building confidence in the economy?
If the person who has been assigned this function gets involved in bringing the dollar into a freefall by trading at exorbitant, overvalued rates through front-runners on the parallel market, is it not the expectation of a balanced mind that the incumbent must be quickly relieved of any responsibilities that come with the job pending an investigation?
President Robert Mugabe, who is accustomed to sweeping under the carpet the vice and graft rife in his party, periodically and selectively bringing up accusations against less powerful individuals, must now act on Gono.
The only thing we want is a governor who knows how to work our books and build on the positive, not a noisy comedian who puts our money right into the hands of people police should be arresting.