ZANU PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo has launched a shock and scathing attack on central bank chief Gideon Gono, accusing him of working to derail the country’s empowerment programme and trying to undermine the party’s campaign for elections due later this year.
Moyo claimed that Gono planted media reports alleging gross irregularities in the indigenisation programme, in particular the US$750 million compliance deal reached with South Africa-based Impala Platinum regarding its Zimbabwe unit, Zimplats.
Writing in the Sunday Mail, Moyo said: “What complicated things for the now embattled Governor of the Reserve Bank is … that the (media) articles (which were) replete with defamatory lies about the Zimplats transaction were so clumsily done as to leave little to the imagination as to the identity of their source.”
The Tsholotsho North legislator said it was not a coincidence that Gono also published an article touting his alternative supply-side empowerment approach at the same time the Zimplats deal was being attacked in the media.
“(Gono’s connivance) was reinforced by an ill-advised, ill-timed, misplaced and ideologically bankrupt opinion piece that (he) audaciously published under his name … essentially opposing the equity or ownership model of indigenisation in favour of the so-called supply side model whose reactionary trappings loomed as large as its treacherous intentions.”
Gono has publicly expressed reservations about the government’s equity-based empowerment programme and stated in May, 2011 that: “It has to be realised that not everybody can fit or benefit from the equity-ownership model we are pursuing. Only a few will and that's a fact.”
The RBZ chief has also clashed with Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere over forcing foreign-owned banks to comply with the indigenisation law. Gono has proposed an alternative approach which would essentially compel foreign companies to procure the majority of their requirements from indigenous entities.
But Moyo scoffed at the proposal saying: “the (logic of the) so-called supply side model touted by Gono is akin to that of a house nigger whose hopeless mentality is that it is far better to profit from selling the furniture of the house as a vendor under the spell of Maslow’s discredited hierarchy of needs than to own the house even if it does not have any furniture.”
Meanwhile, Moyo hinted at possible divisions within Zanu PF ahead of elections expected later this year and suggested that the RBZ chief was fronting for elements within the party keen to thwart President Robert Mugabe’s re-election bid.
He wrote: “If by attacking the equity or ownership-based model of indigenisation in favour of the so-called supply side approach, the Governor of the Reserve Bank is hoping to be a striker in the Bhora Musango brigade ahead of the forthcoming general election that is around the corner, he honestly and seriously should think again.
“This is not 2008. The game this time round is Bhora Mugedhi and the players are Zanu PF only. This should be food for thought for the misguided comrades out there who imagine that they can settle their personal or political scores with the Minister Kusukuwere by hiding behind Gono or by fronting him to fight the indigenisation reform programme in the treacherous hope that its failure would mark Kasukuwere’s political demise.
“It has now become all too clear that when some spineless cowards in our midst want to attack a Zanu PF policy or when they want to attack President Mugabe, they hide their nefarious agenda by attacking the minister responsible for that policy.”
He also dismissed allegations that the Zimplats deal had been concluded without consultation, quipping that there was no need to consult Gono because “if you oppose a national programme in public, you forfeit the courtesy to be consulted because your views are public and thus known.”
Moyo rejected claims in the Daily News newspaper that UK courts would have jurisdiction over Zimbabwe’s indigenisation deals.
“Anyone who thinks this Act is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in London is very, very dangerous and needs to be watched very closely,” said Moyo.
“(The Zimplats agreement) makes (it) clear that the interpretation of the arrangements relating to the vendor financing will be in terms of English law, this does not mean the interpretation will be done by English courts in the same way the application of Roman Dutch law in Zimbabwe does not mean the jurisdiction is with South African or Dutch courts.
“It is a fact that in Zimbabwe we have common law, Roman Dutch Law and English Law. Vendor financing is much clearer in English law which is in force in Zimbabwe than it is in Roman Dutch law which is also in force in Zimbabwe.”
The former information minister also said it was a bit rich for RBZ officials to claim that Brainworks Capital, a local company advising on the indigenisation deals, had been handed the contracts without going to tender.
He charged: “Was there any tendering during Baccossi? Did Finance Minister do any tendering in his distribution of the IMF Special Drawing Rights to dubious companies and banks under dubious companies? Why are some people making holier-than-thou noises when the public record is so loud against them?”