Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has claimed that he saved the country from being “recolonised” during the economic meltdown of 2008. Refuting allegations from Munyaradzai Kereke that he engaged in corruption and stole money from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gono countered that he did not steal the money but gave it to the security forces instead. This he claims he did with the full blessing of President Robert Mugabe. Kereke has since withdrawn the allegations and apologized to Gono.
In an interview with State-controlled newspaper, Sunday Mail, Gono said:
In that year, we heightened the bank’s quasi-fiscal operations with full approvals from above, in order to keep the country afloat. The support rendered was of a security and defence nature, correctly done with approval of the Head of State and Commander of the Defence Forces.
I was convinced that without this critical support, our country was in danger.
…Every cent was properly used and signed for by authorities and it is this money that Dr Kereke was alleging the governor used for personal purposes.
I was a hands-on, not armchair, governor and I’m both proud and humbled by what I know about our security services.
Without these dedicated men and women, who often serve under very trying conditions, this country would have been recolonised and the peace and stability we today take for granted would not be there.
…It is significant to note that it was an act of mischief to selectively point to the amount that was used to support one arm of the security sector in 2007/8 (almost ten years ago), when Dr Kereke knew that we had also supported other key arms.