Gono Clashes With Mutsvangwa Over RBZ Gold Allegations

Former Governor Defends Record Amidst Theft Accusations

by Victor Adetimilehin

The former governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Gideon Gono, has publicly refuted claims by Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa that gold reserves were mishandled during his tenure. Gono criticized Mutsvangwa’s assertions as excitable and vague, potentially damaging the credibility of critical national institutions like the RBZ.

Details of the Dispute

Christopher Mutsvangwa recently ignited controversy by alleging at a press conference that there had been a disappearance of gold reserves from the RBZ while Gono was in charge. Responding to these claims, Gono outlined a specific transaction from 2006 involving a major jewelry company in Saudi Arabia and a significant South African bank. This deal was designed to enhance Zimbabwe’s financial reserves through a sophisticated arrangement where $150 million obtained from the Saudi deal was used as security for a $600 million line of credit. This credit was intended for the importation of vital resources including electricity and agricultural inputs.

Fact-Checking the Allegations

Gono elaborated that the arrangement with the Saudi firm called for the RBZ to supply 200,000 Troy ounces of gold, which would be traded at a 34% discount from the London Bullion market price at the time of each transaction. However, he clarified that the deal was canceled when the South African bank failed to meet its contractual obligations, leading to the recovery of all the gold or its equivalent value. Gono stressed that the claims of gold theft were baseless, as the bank returned the $5 million worth of gold that had initially been transferred, refuting the allegations of any improper conduct under his administration.

Gono emphasized the necessity for leaders and public figures to handle information responsibly, especially when it concerns the integrity of pivotal national entities like the Central Bank. Misinformation or recklessly made statements can severely undermine public trust and confidence. He advised that spokespeople should substantiate their claims to prevent misinformation and to uphold the integrity of the institutions they represent.

This confrontation highlights ongoing tensions within Zimbabwe’s political and economic spheres, reflecting broader issues of governance and accountability. As investigations continue, the public and stakeholders eagerly await conclusive evidence that will either substantiate or refute these serious allegations.

Source: New Zimbabwe

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