Gono's desparation sinks to new level

Gono, a close ally of President Robert Mugabe, was re-appointed as Reserve Bank governor in December even though his policies left the local currency so worthless that it was abandoned earlier this year.

In a 15-page letter to Tsvangirai, which was obtained by AFP, Gono accused Finance Minister Tendai Biti of defaming him by blaming him for the collapse of the once-vibrant economy.

The Zimbabwe Mail revealed on Monday that Gono send an appeal to SADC to save his job.

"On several occasions, the distinguished minister has accused me of killing this economy through printing money," Gono said in the letter.

"I have suffered and continue to suffer abuse and ridicule at a time when you as prime minister have been telling the nation that by-gones are by-gones and that we need to move forward," he added.

Gono also asked that Tsvangirai grant him "immunity/protection at law against victimisation by ministers, some of who may have been involved in nefarious/regrettable activities before."

Gono’s post is one of the most contentious issues hampering Zimbabwe’s three-month-old unity government. Mugabe unilaterally re-appointed Gono to his post after signing the unity pact but before the joint government took office.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe are also disputing the appointment of the attorney general, provincial governors and permanent secretaries in ministries.

There was no immediate reaction from the prime minister’s office.

When Gono was first appointed in November 2003, inflation was at 619.50 percent. At the time of his re-appointment, the rate was estimated in multiples of billions.

Prices are now dropping slightly, after the government abandoned the local currency in favour of the US dollar and the South African rand. – AFP