FORMER Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gidien Gono might have opened the lid on alleged abuse of State apparatus by senior officials in President Robert Mugabe’s administration including the police.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Gono, in an interview with a State-owned weekly, claimed his jailed former adviser, Munyaradzi Kereke used a contingent of police to harass and intimidate RBZ staffers including refusing to hand over classified files following his sacking.
“So powerful were some quarters operating in his corner such that he could command police to appear anywhere he wanted by just making one phone call.
“On the day he finally left the bank after several attempts to defy my orders, he phoned his friends in ZRP and suddenly four men armed with AK rifles and police cars appeared at the bank to carry all the boxes of secret bank files he wanted to take with him against the bank’s rules and separation procedures,” Gono said.
“They bullied bank staff and forced out the files. Now, if that was not a display of power and defiance, I don’t know what is. Any member of staff could be arrested or harassed by police at his say-so, inside or outside the bank.”
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not be drawn into commenting on Gono’s claims, saying the former RBZ boss may need to explain further or make an official report.
“I am not going to comment on rumours. For us, they remain unfounded allegations that he was making unless he makes an official report or raises a complaint. You might also want to follow-up with him for a better explanation on those issues because for now we cannot make head or tail of it all,” she said.
According to Gono, Kereke claimed he had been undertaking a State security-sanctioned operation during his tenure at the apex bank.
“Although he had handed over some bank files to the team that was supervising the handover-takeover process, there are some files he refused to hand over, claiming they contained special defence, police and security assignments he had been assigned to work on, without my knowledge, using my time in the bank.
“This was confirmation that there were forces that he was now reporting to other than the governor. As a result, he left the bank with confidential files and documents,” he said.
Gono, however, absolved Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and his deputies from Kereke’s shenanigans pointing to a parallel structure.
“I know that this police contingent was not sent by the Commissioner-General or his deputies. They were not aware of this operation to disrupt the smooth handover-takeover processes that are normal in any institution; threatening to shoot anyone who prevented Kereke from taking home all files he wanted.
“The previous day, another contingent of police had also come to the bank armed with AK rifles with a view to intervening and persuading me to let Kereke remain with the bank. In short, the man was now a bundle of connections, a powerhouse of indiscipline and unexplainable behaviour that answered to other authorities than myself or the system in the bank,” Gono said.
“His presence in the bank instilled so much fear and trepidation among junior and senior members of staff, including management. Even deputy governors felt powerless to engage him from a position of seniority over him.”