Gono, Kereke case to proceed to hearing

via Gono, Kereke case to proceed to hearing | The Herald July 21, 2015

The corruption case against former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono brought to court by his former advisor Dr Munyaradzi Kereke is set to proceed to hearing after the Constitutional Court last Friday ruled on a preliminary point.

The court granted an application by Dr Kereke for Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana and police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to be cited as fellow respondents in the corruption case facing Dr Gono and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

Dr Kereke approached the court in 2013 making several allegations against Dr Gono, including that he allegedly sold gold from Fidelity Printers and Refiners at a discount of 34 percent to foreigners at a time Zimbabwe had foreign currency shortages.

The full Constitutional Court bench led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ordered that Mr Tomana and Comm-Gen Chihuri be the third and fourth respondents, respectively in the corruption case.

“The 3rd and 4th respondents be and are hereby given leave to file any such papers as they may deem necessary within a period of 10 days of the date of this order,” ordered the court.

The court did not issue an order on costs.

The Constitutional Court had reserved ruling in November 2014 on whether or not Mr Tomana and Comm-Gen Chihuri should be cited as respondents in the case.

In the main case filed in December 2013, Dr Kereke wants a declaration that the refusal by ZACC to investigate the allegations was a breach of its constitutional mandate.

He is seeking to compel ZACC 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.

Dr Kereke argued that ZACC was acting unconstitutionally by failing to probe allegations of abuse of public office, corruption and theft against Dr Gono.

He said he wrote to ZACC in 2013 outlining Dr Gono’s alleged corruption between 2006 and 2009 when he was the central bank governor.

Dr Kereke alleged that Dr Gono took more than $37,5 million, R1,4 million and £21 500 from State coffers and converted it to his personal use.

He accused Dr Gono of circulating Cabinet minutes and military files to hostile foreign governments in breach of the Official Secrets Act.

He said he had proof to back the allegations and was ready to present it.

Dr Gono, it is alleged, abused his authority by borrowing more than $40 million through his companies.

Dr Kereke said he wondered how Dr Gono would perform his supervisory role after borrowing such huge sums from local banks.

Another allegation was that Dr Gono sold 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 paper for a junior officer to transfer $1,5 million into former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s bank account and the money has allegedly not been recovered.

Dr Kereke also alleged that Dr Gono took $200 000 from the 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 Gono responded by dismissing the allegations as patently false.

He said the allegations were “malicious”, “vindictive”, “vitriolic” and calculated at frustrating his nomination as a Zanu-PF Senator.

Dr Gono said the RBZ was audited regularly by reputable auditors like KPMG, Deloitte and Touché and BDO Kudenga, and no such fraud was discovered.

In another case, Fidelity Printers and Refiners executives are in court facing fraud charges involving $2,6 million from the company wholly owned by the RBZ.