Biti and Gono ‘strange bedfellows’

via Biti and Gono ‘strange bedfellows’ | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda December 18, 2013

An unlikely alliance between former Finance Minister Tendai Biti and ex-governor of the Reserve Bank Gideon Gono has sparked debate in the highly polarized society in Zimbabwe.

Initially viewed as mortal enemies Zimbabweans woke up to news on Wednesday that lawyer Tendai Biti had been hired by Gono to fight allegations made by ZANU PF legislator Munyaradzi Kereke that he was involved in corrupt dealings during his tenure at the central bank.

Kereke filed a petition with the Constitutional Court last week demanding to know why the courts were not taking action against Gono as between 2006 and 2009 his former boss took more than US$37.5 million, R1.4 million and £21,500 from State coffers and converted it to his personal use.

This was also during the period when Biti was both Gono and Kereke’s boss, as Finance Minister. Gono leaves behind a legacy of a record level of hyperinflation and the closure of a dozen banks. In January 2009 the highest Zimbabwean dollar note, $100 trillion, was put into circulation by Gono, signalling the collapse of the economy.

The quasi-fiscal activities he embarked on, such as offering farming implements and inputs to newly resettled black farmers, swung support in key rural strongholds in ZANU PF’s favour. He also raided more than $1billion from foreign currency accounts of citizens and corporations to keep the country going.

This led to the MDC-T calling on Gono to be removed, often leading to bruising battles with Biti, who at one time described the former governor as ‘an economic saboteur, terrorist and number one Al-Qaeda who deserves to be shot by a firing squad.’

On Wednesday many took to social media outlets to register their strong disapproval of Biti. An Australian based pro-democracy activist wrote: ‘So Brother Tendai will be standing in court arguing to the best of his abilities that Cde Gideon Gono is not a thief, is not a money launderer, is not corrupt! For many who look at this as Gono’s faith in the abilities of Tendai, you are wrong. Having Tendai as defense counsel is nothing but making sure that Tendai can no more be witness in any litigation or cases of such nature against Cde Gono (he is now amply disqualified by privilege).’

Other commentators, like Maureen Gombakomba, defended the alliance, saying Gono has the right to chose a lawyer of his own choice, be it Selby Hwacha, Tendai Biti, Jonathan Samkange, or Beatrice Mtetwa.

‘If he chooses a lawyer of his choice it’s because he thinks/knows he is the rightful one for him, there is nothing out of this world over such a decision,’ she said.

But political commentator Munjonzi Mutandiri said it was morally wrong for Biti to represent Gono, when he has acknowledged that he is corrupt.

‘We live with ZANU PF people in our societies – tolerance is not shown by defending evil acts. Soon we will hear an MDC lawyer is representing a ZANU PF murder suspect for the 2008 violence,’ exclaimed Mutandiri.



  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 8 years ago

    A bizarre development, to put it mildly. Is this some sick replay of the GNU at a person-to-person level? If so, time will tell (as before) just “Who’s ‘foolingi’ who”

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    Kusvikazvanaka 8 years ago

    The LONG and SHORT of all is that the two guys have “Dirty DEALS” watch the space

  • comment-avatar

    Sleeping with the dictatorship in partnership was a very stupid thing to do. Continuing to sleeping with the devil on dissolution of the partnership sends out a very powerful message to the nation. You are judged by the company you keep.

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    Rwendo 8 years ago

    and all this should go down well with the MDC’s financial supporters and donors. Especially coming close on the heels of a failure to hold the leadership accountable for the July fiasco. The party rank and faithful may stand firm. Let us see if funders (who tend to be more discrimanating and result orientated) do too.

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    Rwendo 8 years ago

    Finally, could this be linked to that $1.5 million, house loan deal brokered by Gono to the then PM Tsvangirai, investigated by police in 2012..?

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    Mr Mixed Race 8 years ago

    There goes the so-called good finance minister.A few months ago people did not like it when I said he was not as good as they think.The fact that he talks too much in the press is a clear indication that he wants to hide his past evil dealings by diverting people’s thinking. Wait and see as more secrets come out.These guys are not seasoned politicians,they are here to confuse the public.

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    Mike Nyathi 8 years ago

    Biti, you are sick in the head. You think you are a moral man? You have crossed a line, shamwari. Go and join Zanu, fool.

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    Mdidi 8 years ago

    Amashona never seize to amaze me, everyday I wake up to a new comedy! This Zimbabwe story is a nice soapie opera to the extent that the script writer is the best in the world. There are many ‘good’ characters in this soapie, the likes of Bra Jonny, lemon skin Tsvangie, Brother Chinoz, Sekuru Diesel Mutasa and many more including new entrants like Supa Star, Mliswa the ‘Menchester” and some that have been written of the play such as border to Border, Manyika including my favourites the legendary Mthandazo Ndema Ngwenya and Sydney Malunga.

    To the writers and producers of this world’s best soapie based on the novel Animal Farm, i salute you. You have outdone Gorge Owen by not only adapting his novel on screen as a telenovella which was supposed to end in 2008, but by creatively continuing it beyond 2013. Keep the fire burning! your creativity is amazing! Halala Zimbabwe Halala!!!