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Zimbabwe Central Banker In Face-Off With Business Community

Business leaders in Zimbabwe are feuding with Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono after registering complaints from the central bank chief that they are engaging in what he called “economic sabotage” by failing to remit hard currency as required by law.

Business sources said a delegation from the Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries invited Gono to leave a meeting convened at the central bank on Tuesday after Gono threatened to force compliance.

Business leaders then asked Vice President Joyce Mujuru to intervene, source said.

Gono said in an interview that exporting firms have withheld some US$270 million from the Reserve Bank. He denied threatening the business leaders, saying he had merely told them they lacked “economic patriotism.” He said the executives were not bringing up economic issues but urging the repeal of laws restricting press and civil liberties.

Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe sought perspective on the rift between the central bank governor and the business community from Iraj Abedian, chief economist at Pan African Advisory Services in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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