HARARE – Opposition parties have showered praises on retired Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, calling him the best governor since 1980.
Gono resigned from the central bank on Saturday, ending an eventful 10 years at the helm of RBZ.
The former governor, who has interests in farming, real estate and media, appointed his deputies Charity Dhliwayo and Khupukile Mlambo to act as governor on a rotational basis until a substantive candidate was found.
In the wake of the resignation, opposition parties have heaped praises on the former governor.
Nhlanhla Dube, spokesperson for the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, said Gono was an exceptional governor who did the best during his tenure.
“Gono did the best that could have been done,” Dube said.
“He was a good governor who had his feet firmly on the ground. There was an economic collapse and he made policies based on that and as such, it was not an easy job for him. I can say his tenure was very colourful and challenging.
“He did the best but in some areas he failed, but we also have to note that he was handicapped by the political realities of that time. All in all, we can say Gono’s tenure was characterised by the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Job Sikhala, opposition National Constitutional Assembly member and former MDC-99 president, waxed lyrical about Gono.
“Gono was a governor during the most difficult of times and there is one thing that the people of Zimbabwe do not appreciate about the man. He was a fighter of the fighters,” Sikhala said.
“He fought during the difficult economic times. When things were bad he never played the blame game but implemented measures to address the situation. He is the best RBZ governor since 1980.
“He was a people’s governor who served people with great humility. He was a man of exceptional adulations who served all despite political colours. I know of MDC members who were helped by him and as such, he was an exceptional man.”
Former Finance minister, Tendai Biti also heaped praises on Gono last week, describing him as a man with Zimbabwe’s interests at heart.
Speaking in an interview with a local radio station, the ex-finance minister described his former subordinate as a patriotic man who served Zimbabwe well.
“Gono has the nation at heart although some people wanted to use him and they indeed used him and just dumped him like that,” Biti said without giving details.
“We first had challenges, but eventually we had a very good working relationship. He (Gono) had the nation at heart,” Biti stated.
Gono, born in November 1959, was appointed to head the central bank in December 2003 and said he took the job because he relished the challenge.
Gono was re-appointed as central bank governor for a second five-year term in November 2008, the term which expired last Saturday.