In an apparent show of mantra, Gono walked from parliament building along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue just after attending the official opening of a new session of parliament, by President Robert Mugabe, down to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) building along Samora Machel Avenue.
Gono who was accompanied by his deputy Charity Dhliwayo, his adviser Munyaradzi Kereke and Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) President John Mangudya and two of his body guards left his motorcade parked at the entrance of parliament building.
However, Gono’s walkabout was devoid of the fanfare that used to characterise his previous strolls during the height of his popularity when business would grind to a halt upon seeing the central bank boss.
Shop owners and pedestrians went about their duties and did not even give the attention that they used to give the RBZ chief.
At the height of the country’s currency crisis Gono used to stage some walk about around Harare to asses the cash crisis which he blamed on some unscrupulous bankers, businessmen and individuals and would nearly get the attention of every pedestrian who would battle to get a glimpse of the “Your Governor” as he loved to call himself.
Tuesday’s stunt was viewed by critics as aimed at trying to regain lost pride after he seriously suffered a knock following his public fallout with Finance Minister Tendai Biti.
Gono and Biti have publicly clashed over the control of Zimbabwe’s meagre finances with each blaming the other of not acting in the best interests of the cash-strapped nation.
The two men have also clashed over the International Monetary Fund (IMF) funds, with the RBZ chief pushing for immediate release of the funds to help boost key sectors of the economy.
But Biti, a powerful and influential figure in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party who has pursued frugal policies since taking over the finance portfolio after formation of a power-sharing government insists the IMF funds should be used only after the government has set out clear goals and objectives in a national budget due in November.
As the fight between Gono and Biti intensifies the central bank chief on Monday said the country was sitting on a total of US$810 million awaiting Biti’s authorisation for disbursement. (Radio VOP)