Reports of Gideon Gono death are false
Harare and London temporarily became the rumour capitals of the world on Thursday evening as Zimbabweans home and away spread false messages that Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono had died in a car crash.
Only one website Zimeye.com fell for the prank falsely reporting that the central bank chief had died in a car accident along the road to Chiredzi. It is our understanding Dr Gono is alive and well although no one knows yet whether he was indeed involved in an accident or not.
Social networking site Facebook especially became the hub of most of the speculation. Asked to comment by curious readers New Zimbabwe.com editor Mduduzi Mathuthu described the reports as ‘rubbish’. In one posting he called the story ‘false with a capital F.’
Asked by former ZBC newsreader Noreen Welch why Zimeye.com had covered the story Mathuthu retorted ‘is that reporting? Gossip peddling more like.’ It was left to the ever humorous Conor Walsh to remark that he was ‘concerned that the Gavhuna of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe may be a chidhoma (ghost).’
Walsh went on to say he wanted ‘Cde Gideon Gono, please to make up his mind. Cde Gavhuna are you dead or alive? Kindly stop buggering us all around and make a decision. I hope you make the right decision.’
Gono retains his notoriety as the central bank governor who caused the trillion dollar hyper-inflation that Zimbabwe saw in the years gone by. Endless printing of money and quasi-fiscal activities ensured that the Zimbabwe dollar became worthless. Thousands lost their savings and pensions overnight as a result
More significantly Gono was a member of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) which organized the brutal campaign of terror in June 2008 that saw over 500 MDC supporters butchered by members of the army and state security agency. This was after Mugabe and Zanu PF had lost elections in March.
As RBZ chief on the JOC Gono was clearly the financier of the operation. The MDC-T have made his continued stay at the helm of the central bank as one of the outstanding issues particularly given that Mugabe re-appointed him unilaterally without consultation. The unity deal makes it clear Mugabe can only make senior appointments in consultation with the Prime Minister.