HARARE – Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has called for unity of purpose if the country entertains any hopes of turning around the economy that is on a downward spiral.
Speaking at a speech and prize-giving ceremony at Daramombe High School in Chikomba District at the weekend, Gono admitted that while he was no longer the best person to comment on the state of the country’s economy having left the RBZ, he felt it was time for him to comment.
Gono said there was still hope of bringing the country’s economic fortunes back on the rails and bemoaned “the general proclivity of people under siege to lose hope and focus on yesterday with a take-me-back-to-Egypt syndrome”.
The former central bank chief said problems affecting the economy would soon be a thing of the past as he predicted a period of prosperity in which citizens will enjoy full employment, financial sector stability as well as national food security.
“My message to you all is that do not lose hope. This economy can and will be turned around in no time, provided we all read and sing from the same page. There can never be a turn-around if people are not united,” said Gono.
Gono said the period ahead needed proper planning underpinning a commitment by citizens to work harder than ever.
“Just as no winter lasts forever, our hardships shall come to pass, and in strategy we say, when in difficulties, prepare for good times ahead and when enjoying good times, prepare for bad ones ahead.”
Gono is a former student of Daramombe, who was a pioneer in 1973, then an F2 secondary school introduced by the colonial regime to cater for black students who were coming from primary schools around the country.
He pledged to give 10 scholarships per year for the best all-round students in each stream from form two to six beginning next year.
The scholarships to be awarded to five best male scholars and five best female scholars will see recipients have their full year tuition and boarding fees paid for.
Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a free fall and in its report released in June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the country’s economy was in a precarious state, with usable international reserves covering less than two weeks of imports.