THE MDC has approached former Reserve Bank governor Kombo Moyana to return to head the central bank after the formation of an inclusive government.
Sources in the Morgan Tsvangirai-headed MDC said the party’s economic advisors recently met Moyana and requested him to replace Gideon Gono, whom the party blames for accelerating the country’s decade-long economic crisis.
The MDC, sources said, want Gono to leave because they say he would fail to implement policies to reconstruct the economy under the power-sharing government.
The Zimbabwe Independent is reliably informed that the MDC has been piling pressure on Gono to leave the central bank at the end of his first five-year-term next month.
Gono has said he is ready to go anytime if asked to. It is said Gono would go into private business if he is kicked out. He has interests in finance, real estate, agriculture, stock markets and the media. Sources said he has been promised a job by an international financial organisation should he be removed.Â Â Â
The MDC’s move to headhunt for Moyana for the central bank’s top job came after it reportedly shortlisted deputy Reserve Bank governor responsible for financial markets, banking operations and national payment, Edward Mashiringwani, to replace Gono.
Moyana, sources said, is also being backed by senior Zanu PF members aligned to former army general Solomon Mujuru.
Sources said reformists in Zanu PF and the MDC wanted an end to Gono’s term in office, blaming his fiscal policies for the deepening economic crisis. Gono has been attacked for printing money and fuelling inflation. He has however said he was doing it on orders from above.
He recently said he would continue to print money because of “the prevailing extraordinary economic circumstances”. Gono’s advisors have of late been citing the global financial crisis and interventions by governments as a justification of his own activities. Â
Moyana became the first black deputy governor of the central bank in March 1983.
His 10-year tenure at the bank was marked by a widely supported economic plan known as “Growth with equity” that yielded a double digit annual inflation figure of around 20% but a stable local currency.
However, Gono —— seen as President Robert Mugabe’s personal banker -—— could survive the axe and serve a second term because the president appoints central bank governors.
During Gono’s tenure as Reserve Bank chief, inflation has galloped from three digits in December 2003 to a record unofficial high of 231,1 million % in July. In June it was 11,2 million %.Â Critics accuse him of implementing populist quasi-fiscal policies.
His advisors say Gono’s tenure should not be compared to those of Moyana and his successor Leonard Tsumba because “the political, social and economic circumstances they operated in are very different”.
If Gono is booted out, he would be the first governor since 1980 to have only served one term. His predecessors Moyana and Tsumba both served two terms.
By Bernard MpofuÂ