Mugabe defends beleaguered central bank chief

Zimbabwe’s central bank chief, who presided over world-record hyperinflation, will keep his job despite objections raised within the unity government, President Robert Mugabe said Monday.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the erstwhile opposition leader who joined the power-sharing government three months ago, has asked regional leaders to mediate in his dispute over the appointment of Reserve Bank boss Gideon Gono.

But Mugabe said on state television that Gono would keep his job, even though after his first five-year term the local currency was left so worthless that the government this year abandoned it.

”Today those in Britain and elsewhere are not happy that he is still at the top of the Reserve Bank,” said Mugabe as he attended the funeral for Gono’s brother.

”Within the country, within the inclusive government, there are some who are saying he should go, and we are saying he won’t go.”

”He is not a thief, he has done no wrong. Prove the wrong he has done,” Mugabe added, praising Gono as a loyal follower.

”That’s the crime he is alleged to have committed — that he stood by this man Robert Mugabe, who must collapse so that there is regime change.”

Zimbabwe is trying to convince international donors to contribute $8,5-billion over three years to revive the shattered economy in a country where unemployment is at 94% and more than half the population depends on foreign food aid for survival.

Major donors like the United States and former colonial power Britain said they want to see Mugabe make more political reforms first.

Zimbabwe has won more than $1-billion in credits
for private firms, mainly from African lenders. – AFP

 

AFP

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