Massive Externalisation Exposed

A change in monetary policy by Gideon Gono earlier this year has facilitated the externalisation of nearly US$45 million by mostly ZANU PF chefs and businessman connected to the crumbling party of Robert Mugabe. This rush to extrnalise has taken place in only the last month or so.

Sources at teh Reserve Bank suspect that the policy shift that made this possible may have been crafted by Gono specifically to facilitate the externalisation of ill-gotten ZANU PF gains.

Gono, in a barely noticed clause in his "dollarisation" monetary policy, liberalised the exchange regime extensively, allowing holders of foreign currency to take out a maximum of $250 000 out of Zimbabwe at a time, with no questions asked.

Six former and reappointed ZANU PF ministers, two businessmen and three children of ZANU PF politubro members studying in an Asian country have all taken advantage of this relaxation to spirit out nearlt US$45million since then, according to a source at the Reserve Bank who says the money was handed out from the country's reserves at the Central Bank after "cursory procedures."

Most of the money was taken out before the swearing in of Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti, who is now at the helm of the Ministry of Finance.

This is apparently one of the major reasons for the renewed feud between Biti and Gono, who, according to our constitution, can only be fired by the President of Zimbabwe. Biti has asked for an accounting of teh country's reserves and inflows in detail, as any good Finance Minister would do when he gets into office. He wants to know the true state of the country's finances.

Gono is apparently resisting this and the bad blood between the two is betrayed by Tsvangirai and Biti's refusal to take Gono along with them to South Africa this week, where they will be asking for US$1 billion to help revive the Zimbabwean economy.

The source at the Reserve bank says Gono claims Tendai Biti, his boss, has handed information about the facilitation of this externalisation to Prime Minister Tsvangirai, who is expected to present it to Mugabe as one of the reasons why Gono must be fired from the helm of the Central Bank.

This is why we keep hearing Biti saying Gono is an issue that "is being handled by the principals."

It is not clear whether Biti has actual evidence or is relying on a whistle-blower, which would make his case shaky with Mugabe, who is determined to keep Gono at the RBZ. Mugabe's protection of Gideon Gono is related to activities of Mugabe himself through the Reserve Bank, acticvities I understand the Governor was appointed specifically to deal with and clean up before the president walks off into the sunset.

I will be doing an article on the scandal around Mugabe's finances through the Reserve Bank, Malaysia and, suprisingly, Thailand. Keep your eyes glued here for that.

It appears the ZANU PF former and sitting ministers are entirely unsure where they stand in light of the formation of the GNU and Mugabe's increasing cosiness with Morgan Tsvangirai. They are clearly putting a little aside for a rainy day. 

The question, though, is, if there was that much money at the Reserve Bank, even if it was in Individual FCAs of these Big Men of ZANU PF, why are people still not getting water piped into their homes, condemned to die of cholera. The list of things that could have been one with that money is endless.

The ministers and ZANU PF people who took out this money could never have acquired simply by working at their government desks, which means it is ill-gotten, hence the rush to get it out of the country before Biti and Tsvangirai find out the dirty secret.

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  1. We haven't seen anything yet. There was an outcry from across the business community, when Dr Gono introduced strict forex regulations which saw the arrest of Kuruneri, NMB bosses got into trouble, Mutumwa Mawere managed to evade the long arm of the law. He is one of the most vocal and strong critics of those measures. They wanted to have more control over their forex. Now that control has been given, there is still an outcry from certain quarters. So Biti made promises of paying teachers in hard currency when he did not know how much the gvt has, A finance minister who want to rely on kukiya-kiya. Chegorero!!!


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