Gideon Gono Resigns
Here's yet another scoop from this blog! Following hot on the heels of my scoop that the letter supposedly written by Gono was in fact written by George Charamba and is designed simply to expose the fact that the MDC-T "has done nothing since assuming power)
Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, handed a letter of resignation on Saturday morning to dictator Robert Mugabe just as he was about to leave for his rural home in Zvimba from his Helensvale home.
Gono lives just up the road from Mugabe in the posh area and delivered the letter personally to Mugabe.
In a move that shows just who it is that is scuppering the Global Political Agreement, Mugabe is said to have refused to accept the resignation.
Gono, however, was insistent that no ZANU PF minister is standing up for him, not one is fighting from his corner except President Mugabe himself.
But the dictator, who has told Gono that he must hold his horses because the fight here is between the dictator and Tsvangirai, was apparently dismissive of Gono's move.
Gono was still insisting yesterday that his only option is to walk, claiming that, in doing so, he is going to show ZANU PF ministers and officials, whom he claims benefitted from his largesse, that they would also be exposed in the process.
For some time now, Gono has been bitter that the whole of ZANU PF has remained silent while he is hung out to dry by Biti.
He has not been sure whether Mugabe will hold fast in his refusal to let him go. My own assessment of his latest move is that it is designed specifically to test just how steadfast Mugabe is in his support. People close to the Governor say if he gets the impression that Mugabe is indeed willing to let the GNU fail on account of the Gono and Tomana issue, the governor could well be persuaded that he has a future.
Gono also told the president that he has essentially been made a lame-duck Governor by Tendai Biti, who has taken away pretty much all of the functions that used to give the Central Bank a source of income.
The Reserve Bank is now struggling to fund its own operations, with Biti insisting that the 6000 people that Gono has hired at the Central Bank are not needed (he calls them a parallel government) and refusing to fund their salaries. So, even as I write, RBZ staff are not being paid their salaries because Gono's coffers are dry.
You will recall that I told you soon after Biti's budget statement that the Finance minister and the MDC were vowing that, within six months, Gono will have to come to Treasury (Finance Ministry) to ask for funds to keep the central bank going.
What Gono fears, though, is to wake up one day and find that Mugabe has struck a deal over him with Tsvangirai.
The events of Saturday seem to show that Mugabe is unwilling to let his personal banker go.
Tsvangirai himself, who told the Financial Times at Jacob Zuma's inauguration that "it is not helpful to jump on the Gideon Gono bandwagon", will need to refer the matter to SADC if he is keen on getting the man to go.
As things stand, Tendai Biti and others are of the opinion that Tsvangirai will not do this, hiding instead behind the anthem that ALL principals need to AGREE to refer the matter to SADC for the matter to be referred there.
You will notice that Biti has now resorted to making moves on the legislative front to curtail and reorganise the Reserve Bank. This he is doing because he has lost hope that Gono will indeed go. Advice given to Biti by the IMF during recent consultations will inform the legal measures Biti will take to try and bolster confidence in the RBZ amongst donors and Bretton Woods institutions.
Still, it appears that Gono has now reached a stage where he is willing to walk unless ZANU PF becomes more vocal in supporting his continued stay at the Central Bank.