WASHINGTON DC —
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono on Friday bid farewell to central bank directors, management and staff saying he managed to execute his duties as directed by President Robert Mugabe in the past 10 years.
In a statement, Gono said like any mortal being, he was not perfect but is leaving the bank as a happy person because he managed to defend the country’s sovereignty and economic interests when Zimbabwe needed him most.
He said his work at the central bank came at a time when “economic attacks against the country were at their gravest”.
Gono was perhaps referring to the period when Zimbabwe recorded historic inflationary figures of up to 231 million percent and more between 2000 and 2009 before the formation of a unity government.
The RBZ governor said some countries that have faced a quarter of challenges and dangers that Zimbabwe faced are on their knees as they are experiencing “riots galore and unending changes in their government administrations.”
He said these nations are facing untold suffering worse than Zimbabwe experienced in those turbulent economic times.
“No doubt, we succeeded in some areas of our assignments more than we did in others but that is not for me to say,” said Gono.
In a statement full of Biblical quotations and jokes, Gono noted that children who were born at the time he joined the central bank are now at mid-primary school level. He said this is the period in which he was allowed to serve as per the country’s banking laws. His contract expires within the next few days.
“It is also fortuitous that I am ending my ten year tour of duty on my 54th birthday and just as I was taken home immediately after birth, I am going home to my family and friends today after completing a successful tour of duty or could it be that I am joining the jobless market. Only time will tell,” he said.
Gono noted that deputy governor Charity Dhliwayo will serve as acting governor from December 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014, and the other deputy governor K. Mlambo will take over from March 2014 to May 31, 2014. President Mugabe is expected to appoint a substantive governor at that time.
He compared the appointment of a new governor to the selection of a pope in Rome which is symbolized by dark and white smoke.
“In Catholic terms, my going represents black smoke coming out of 22nd and 23rd floors of the RBZ as when a Pope passes or retires. When a new substantive one is elected or appointed the same chimneys emit white smoke in celebration. Unfortunately, no white smoke yet. That is for his excellency the president, on the advice of the minister, to ignite.”