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Political Risks Seen For Zimbabwe's MDC In Central Bank Row

The fight within Zimbabwe's national unity government over control of the central bank took a new and troubling twist this week as military and security agency chiefs weighed in to defend beleagured Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.

Air Marshall Henry Muchena told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that Gono could not be sacrificed as he had a key role to play in the “economic revolution.”

But skeptics said the "securocrats" backing President Robert Mugabe along with hardliners in the long-ruling ZANU-PF party were mainly concerned that Gono's largesse in their favor would come to an end, and that Reserve Bank accounts might be audited.

The Movement for Democratic Change party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai meanwhile is pressing for Gono to be replaced, in part because he is one of the reasons international donors are wary of funding government operations and an economic turnaround.

Gono for his part says the MDC has launched a personal vendetta against him.

For insight into what is driving this bitter feud, reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to political analyst Brilliant Mhlanga of Westminister University, London, and Regional Coordinator Glen Mpani of the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa.

Mpani said the intra-governmental dispute over Gono has turned into a power game, which in view of the balance of forces could turn to the detriment of the MDC.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...