Zimbabwe's dictator, Robert Mugabe arrives for the funeral of Gideon Gono's brother on Monday. He told the gathering that Gono would not go anywhere, saying he never stole "even a cent" of anybody's money.
The State media today carries a story that implicates Tendai Biti in the "manufacturing" of evidence against Gideon Gono.
The case has been taken to the courts. On trial is a Prison Officer, Fibion Makoni, who is alleged to have gone into the cell of a former RBZ employee, Joseph Banda, who was arrested for stealing farming implements from the Reserve Bank. The prison officer is alleged to have told the prisoner that he had been sent by Minister Tendai Biti to get information on the corruption of Gideon Gono at the Reserve Bank.
He was told the Finance Minister would get him good lawyers and get him off the hook in the courts if he squealed on Gono.
Obviously he refused. And that is why the prison officer is now in jail.
It shows one thing: human nature being what it is, Banda looked at the balance of power in government and had to to decide who was most likely to have the power to make a difference to his case.
It was either the Finance Minister and the MDC-T (assuming this story is not cooked up) or the Governor and Mugabe.
He decided he stood to gain more by snitching not on Gono, but on Tendai Biti to Gono and the RBZ lawyers and hence, to Mugabe.
So now we have entered the phase where Mugabe fights back. Publicly. This trial of a prison officer, in my opinion, is simply to prepare public opinion. Zimbabweans, whatever other faults we may have, universally hate figures of authority using their positions to settle personal scores.
So, Mugabe would have won if he manages even to just sow the seeds of doubt into the motives driving Tendai Biti.
The job was started by that fake letter, whose main purpose was to disparage the efforts of the Finance Minister by attributing all the positives in this Inclusive Government so far to Gideon Gono and ZANU PF.
This trial will get prominence in the state media, which remains the most widely read (if not widely credible). At the end of it all, Zimbabwe will say Biti had nothing on Gono and had to resort to bribing jail guards to get adverse information on the governor from a man whom he assumed would hate Gono for having him arrested.
Although some of us are skeptical, the vast majority of Zimbabweans simply read the paper and shake their heads. If a conviction is secured, it will also be conviction on Tendai Biti, even if he should never stand trial.
By the way, if that letter from Gono was indeed from Gono, how come it did not mention this incident? It would have strengthened his case, that there was now a court case arising from the Finance Minister trying to buy off a prisoner to implicate Gono in nefarious misdeeds.