Gono, Kereke Feud Exposed

In a development which exposes the serious feud between the former allies, Gono laid bare the details of his fallout with his advisor and blew the whistle on the reasons for Kereke’s departure from the central bank. Kereke left the employ of the RBZ late last month after spending eight years as Gono’s advisor.

Kereke is said to have authored a 20-page dossier entitled “Summary of financial and economic threats to the survival of Zanu (PF) and maintenance of state security in Zimbabwe,” detailing his ex-boss’s financial misdemeanours. Kereke has however denied authoring the dossier.

In the dossier, Gono was reported to have weakened and sabotaged President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party through supporting pro-Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) policies. The dossier claims Gono gave the go ahead for Zimbabwe’s leading mobile telecoms provider, Econet, to create a parallel central bank by allowing it to launch its mobile money platform, Eco-Cash, which allows its subscribers to make payments using cell phones.

The report alleges Econet has now established a quasi bank web that is poised to become the largest handler of cash in the country at a time when the country’s financial system is very dry of liquidity.”

According to the dossier, Gono also allowed the expansion of TN Financial Holdings under a plan to penetrate popular business lines that could be used for political advantage.

But in response to the allegations raised in the dossier which was submitted to some Zanu (PF) officials, Gono denied committing the alleged transgressions and dismissed the charges as malicious and unmitigated insanity.

In a 28-page report entitled “Reserve bank responses to allegations of compromising financial, economic and national security” authored by Gono, the central bank boss gave an insight into the mysterious departure of Kereke from the central bank, which had been kept under wraps and managed as a “reassignment.”

When Kereke left the RBZ on 31 January, Gono claimed in a press statement that he had left on re-assignment to take charge of “broader responsibilities in the national sphere of national service.”
In the press statement, the departure of Kereke which came as a shock to the financial markets was disguised so as not to tell that it had been prompted by fallout between the two former allies.

Now details have emerged that Gono was so incensed by the production of the dossier that he elbowed Kereke out of the bank’s employ.

Gono  did not mention Kereke by name but referred to him as a “senior official” charged that Kereke as the author of the dossier had overleapt his mandate and duties and would be disciplined accordingly.

“it is apparent that the author’s Machiavellian charm offensive to the security forces/agents and Zanu (PF) politburo is a manifestation of his vaulting ambitions, which are overleaping his current mandate and responsibilities, in the vain and self glorifying effort of catapulting himself to the positions higher than he is currently, a case of punching one’s weight so to speak.

The author’s desperate and indefatigable efforts to sow seeds of discontent against the Governor of the Reserve Bank with a cross section of influential circles across the nation should be treated with the contempt they deserve, and will not be allowed to distract me as the Governor and my committed team in our conscientious execution of the Bank’s mandate. 

The Holy Bible (ESV) in Hebrews 12 v 7-8 teaches that “…For what son is there whom his father does not discipline. If you are left without discipline…then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” In light of the foregoing, the author has crossed the line and has conducted himself in a manner not befitting a senior official in a national strategic institution and this calls for appropriate remedial action to mitigate further damage, and this shall be done,” reads part of Gono’s response.

Gono said accusing Econet of usurping the central bank’s duties would be forgiven if such a charge came from novices in central bank matters and bank supervision and surveillance. He said Eco-cash, Econet’s money transfer service was subjected to a due diligence process and is not the only mobile banking product on the Zimbabwean financial market.

The central bank boss also insinuated that his former subordinate could have got carried away in the process of mingling with powerful politicians and securocrats.

“Threats to national security also emanate from the ignorance of those that pretend that they know and have just tasted how sweet it is to move in influential, especially political and security circles, where they mistakenly think or assume that they are in the company of “chickens” and not “eagles.” Well many people have underestimated the reasoning and exploits of these offices to their own eventual detriment,” said Gono.

Gono accused Kereke of disrespecting President Robert Mugabe since he is the one who appointed him to the RBZ governorship.

“The said Senior Official, for some reasons best known to him, has preposterously questioned some decisions taken by the Reserve Bank. In doing so, he has not only questioned the efficacy of the Reserve Bank Governors and the Board, but is also openly challenging the competency of the appointing authorities. This is tantamount to questioning the authority and wisdom of the President in making certain key appointments, obviously after taking advice from either line Ministries or Security vetting Agencies of the State. ………One would be forgiven if the alleged shortcomings of the Governor and his team were whole and factual. The author’s contentions are based on convoluted deficiencies and bloated ego,” said Gono.

The central bank governor accused Kereke of betraying him and peddling falsehoods designed to mislead some Zanu (PF) officials.

“It defies logic that the author of the document, a senior official of the Reserve Bank, who is expected to demonstrate impeccable levels of integrity, professionalism, objectivity, and accountability, has taken it upon himself to propagate falsehoods about the bank on issues he is severally accountable for. In the corporate world, good governance practices require that all senior officials are severally accountable for well-meant decisions collectively taken by management. Thus, any attempts to unjustifiably criticise or artificially apportion accountability are at best hypocritical and at worst an institutional treasonous betrayal. It is my considered view that the loyalty, sincerity and patriotism of a corporate turncoat of this calibre and track record of disingenuous manoeuvres aimed at currying favours with key national figures and institutions can be, and is anyone’s guess.”