This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
041436Z Nov 03
UNCLAS HARARE 002189
STATE FOR AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND
TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW
PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER
STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON
E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV PGOV ZI
SUBJECT: GONO TO RUN CENTRAL BANK CHIEFarer
Ref: Harare 2184
1. (U) Summary: President Mugabe has decided on Jewel
Bank Managing Director Gideon Gono as the new Reserve
Bank governor. Gono's close ties to Mugabe make it
unlikely he will be an assertive, independent central
banker. End Summary.
2. (SBU) Since the GOZ eased Leonard Tsumba from the
governorship in April - three months before his term's
end - the Reserve Bank (RBZ) has been leaderless. This
has complicated the Bank's operations at a time of
profound monetary and fiscal crises. We had learned from
several sources over the past months that Gono was the
frontrunner. Apparently, however, he had been trying to
find a diplomatic way maneuvering out of the appointment.
3. (SBU) Although the GOZ has made no official
announcement, our latest reports indicate that Gono
failed to lobby his way out of the job. Gono will be
Mugabe's vehicle to shake up the RBZ, announced last
Friday (ref). Given the powerlessness of the RBZ
governor and the sad state of the economy, this is a
posting that few covet. Gono would no doubt be happier
continuing to make money as the GOZ's unofficial banker.
He controls Mugabe's accounts and maintains a close,
multifaceted relationship with the President.
4. (SBU) Gono adds little as Reserve Bank governor. He
is a self-made man who understands how markets function,
but his own fortunes have been tied to sweetheart deals
with the GOZ. He will not serve as a check on GOZ
overspending and overborrowing. In fact, his ownership
of a commercial bank and the major business newsweekly
signals a major conflict-of-interest.