Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyau-siku has summoned former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono and his erstwhile advisor Dr Munyaradzi Kereke over their highly charged Constitutional Court feud.
Chief Justice Chidyausiku wants to map the way forward and decide how and when their matter will be handled now that heads of argument have been filed.
The two have been trading accusations and Dr Kereke — now the National Assembly representative for Bikita West — has filed suits against his former boss at both the High and Constitutional courts.
In the constitutional case, Dr Kereke is seeking to compel the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate and arrest Dr Gono on allegations of theft, corruption and fraud committed at the time he was at the helm of the RBZ.
Chief Justice Chidyausiku, through chief registrar of the superior courts Mr Walter Chikwanha, on Monday wrote to the parties — including ZACC chairperson Mr Denford Chirindo — directing them to appear before him in chambers for a discussion on May 27, 2014.
“The above stated matter was placed before the Honourable Chief Justice who has directed as follows;
“The parties shall appear before the Chief Justice in chambers on Tuesday 27th of May 2014 at 10am, to discuss and agree on the date of hearing, duration of hearing and availability of counsel,” read the letter.
The letter was served on lawyers Mutamangira and Associates (ZACC), Biti Law Chambers (Dr Gono) and James Makiya Legal Practitioners (Dr Kereke).
In the constitutional application filed in December last year, Dr Kereke argued that ZACC was acting unconstitutionally by failing to probe allegations of abuse of public office, corruption and theft against Dr Gono.
Dr Kereke said he wrote to ZACC in 2913 outlining Dr Gono’s alleged corruption between 2006 and 2009 when he was central bank governor.
He alleged that Dr Gono took more than US$37,5 million, R1,4 million and 21 500 British pounds from State coffers, converting it to personal use.
Dr Kereke alleged that Dr Gono circulated Cabinet minutes and military files to hostile foreign governments in breach of the Official Secrets Act. He said he had proof to back up the allegations and was ready to present it.
He also alleged that the former RBZ Governor abused his authority by borrowing more than US$40 million through his companies.
The legislator said he wondered how Dr Gono would perform his supervisory role borrowing such sums from local banks.
Another allegation was that Dr Gono sold pure gold bullion to a private jewellery company in Saudi Arabia at a 34 percent discount.
Dr Kereke accused Dr Gono of misrepresenting to Government the true status of the International Monetary Fund debt by claiming the country had cleared it.
He further alleged that in 2009, Dr Gono casually wrote an instruction on a scrap of paper for a junior officer to transfer US$1,5 million into former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s bank account and the money had never been recovered.
Dr Kereke alleged that Dr Gono took US$200 000 from Reserve Bank coffers and gave it to the Financial Gazette newspaper, in which he is the majority shareholder.
He claimed that ZACC commissioners were given money by Dr Gono for holidays when the country was facing economic challenges.
Dr Kereke also wants Dr Gono’s lawyer, Mr Tendai Biti, to recuse himself because some of the allegations stem from a period when the latter was Finance Minister and worked closely with the RBZ.
Dr Gono has responded by dismissing the allegations as patently false, and has suggested that Dr Kereke might require psychological evaluation.
He said the allegations were “malicious”, “vindictive”, “vitriolic” and calculated at frustrating his nomination as a Zanu-PF senator.
The former central bank chief has been nominated by Zanu-PF to fill the Buhera Senate seat left vacant by the death of national hero Cde Kumbirai Kangai last year.
Dr Gono said he disputed every “allegation, contention, finding or judgement that has been made against me by the applicant”.
He added Dr Kereke was abusing the courts, taking them as a platform to injure his dignity, character and reputation.
Dr Gono also asked why it took 14 months from the time Dr Kereke made his alleged claims to ZACC to the time time he approached the courts.
He said the RBZ was audited regularly by reputable auditors like KPMG, Deloitte and Touche and BDO Kudenga, and no such fraud was discovered.