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Thursday, 17 January 2008

Saved by the bell

The emergence of the new party is throwing a lifeline to the man everyone thought was finished.

Just a few days ago this blog was confidently forecasting the end of the extremely dodgy career of Gideon Gono, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe - and oh dear, didn't we get it wrong! Gideon, who was staring disgrace and dismissal in the face, has suddenly become flavour of the month, at least in the eyes of our beloved Prez, Zim1 himself, Robert Mugabe.

The reason is, Mugabe sees Gono as his personal weapon of mass destruction in the forthcoming war to destroy the challenge of the new Patriotic Front and the new would-be president, Simba Makoni. The purpose of Gono's flying visit to Malasia this week, to Mugabe's holiday resort, was to plan strategy. The war itself begins next week.

Then Gono is due to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance. His task is to name and shame' the country's high profile 'cash barons', accusing them of hoarding hard currency and dealing illegally in foreign currency. He will say these individuals are directly responsible for Zimbabwe's economic ills. And guess who he's going to name!

Yes, you can confidently expect Gono to come up with the names of the powerful men beind the Patriotic Front. Whether he will actually accuse General Solomon Mujuru or his wife Joyce, or indeed Simba Makoni himself, is open to some doubt. They may simply be too big to tackle. But lesser lights in the new movement are bound to be targeted.

These are thought to include some party officials, some military men, and some within the security services. They could even include the Director of the Central Intelligence Organisation(CIO), Happyton Bonyongwe himself.

A source within the spy agency told me: "Gono will accuse them of being the architects of the country's woes, through corruption, money laundering and externalisation. The President will then land heavily on those fingered. He will order their arrest and incarceration. "

The accusations may or may not stick. But they are designed primarily to derail the new party,to push it off target, and to destract its members from their aim of campaigning against Mugabe, and thus lose the confidence of the public. 

We shall know more next week. In the meantime, let us stand in awe of a man who has crawled back from the brink one more time - the unsinkle Gideon Gono.

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