FORMER Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono has warned Zanu-PF that factionalism could derail efforts to revive the economy in the face of his disqualification from the Senate. Dr Gono, who was disqualified by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) from filling the vacant Buhera West Senate seat on the basis that he was not a registered voter in Manicaland Province, blames “faceless characters” for his political troubles.
Dr Gono believes that the decision to bar him from replacing Cde Kumbirai Kangai, who died last year, has more to do with the factional strife bedevilling the revolutionary party than legal reasons.
And he warns that an economic turnaround will elude the Zanu-PF Government as long as senior party figures, whom he does not name, are “tearing each other”.
“No team, let alone a country, can win economic wars when its members are shooting the ball in whichever direction a player is facing. It’s that basic, and don’t forget I speak from experience, hence my commitment to support and strengthen only the one centre I know, that of the President and no other,” said the former central bank chief.
He said the country’s economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation Zimbabwe (Zim-Asset), would never deliver jobs or prosperity as long as party members were undermining and attacking each other as if their differences are more than what binds them.
He said there was need for Zimbabweans to restore confidence in themselves and in others as a matter of urgency as part and parcel of moving forward.
“History will condemn us badly if the current situation is allowed to persist where the private and public sectors of our economy, civil service, the media and other statutory, judiciary and security bodies are now being perceived by the ordinary persons as appearing to be discharging their duties along factional or ethnic lines,” he said.
ZEC chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, wrote a letter to Zanu-PF’s national chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, on September 15 informing him that Dr Gono was not eligible to represent Manicaland in the Senate based on the “party list” system where seats are allocated on proportional representation.
“We wish to advise Honourable Chairman that, according to our records, Dr Gono is not registered as a voter in any of the wards in Manicaland province,” Justice Makarau said. Dr Gono insists that he is willing to bide his time after ZEC’s snub.
“I’m on record stating that we must follow all procedures and processes stipulated by the law. I don’t aspire to be a lawmaker who breaks the law and if it’s going to take four more years to comply with the requirements of ZEC, so be it and let it be,” he said.
But while Dr Gono might have appeared to be resigned to his fate, Zanu-PF’s secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa claimed on Tuesday that the party was prepared to bend the law to accommodate Dr Gono. “No-one will reverse a decision of the Politburo,” Cde Mutasa said. “We will ensure that the law fits with the requirements of the party.”
Zanu-PF Manicaland province had recommended Gono’s appointment to fill the seat left vacant following the death of Cde Kangai in August last year.
The recommendation was endorsed by the Politburo. Based on the party-list system, former CIO boss and veteran freedom fighter Cde Shadreck Chipanga should have stepped in, before the Politburo’s intervention.