17 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Motion to Probe RBZ Dealings Still Alive

A Zanu PF legislator has vowed to defy a party directive barring him from raising a motion in parliament to investigate the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). Paddy Zhanda, who is MP for Goromonzi North, said the matter was on the parliamentary order paper and he will go ahead with the motion.

This is despite reports that the party had whipped its legislators from bringing motions without approval of the Zanu PF caucus.

"The motion is still on the order paper and the only person who can remove it is me," Zhanda said. The motion is likely to cause friction within the party as some members think it will hurt Zanu PF in elections which the party insists should be held this year.

Sources revealed that after the motion was moved on June 5, Zanu PF parliamentarians met at the party headquarters in Harare, where they agreed that the motion could damage the party.

"It was raised that Zanu PF was calling for elections and the ramifications Zhanda's motion would sink the party at the crucial time when we are calling for elections," a party insider said.

The source said chief among the concerns was that the central bank literally ran and funded Zanu PF's activities during the 2008 election.

"It funded the Zanu PF election campaign by buying vehicles for the 2008 election campaign, the bank literally operated as a branch of Zanu PF," the source said. "The farm mechanisation programme was also funded by the central bank and none of that money was ever paid back. Their investigations into the RBZ will thus sink Zanu PF deep in the mud."

Another insider revealed how the party's parliamentarians were uneasy and feared RBZ governor, Gideon Gono's response on the matter.

He said there was a deep-seated feeling that Gono had abandoned the party and he was on the receiving end of many attacks from within Zanu PF.

"Out of frustration, Gono might say a lot of things that will expose a number of senior Zanu PF officials," the insider continued.

Some within the party, the source said, felt that Zhanda was abusing his privilege as a member of the house of assembly to settle personal scores with the central bank governor.

"It is wrong that Zhanda takes his personal tiff with Gono to parliament at the expense of the image of the party," the insider said.

There is no love lost between Gono and Zhanda, who have been involved in a protracted personal dispute amid allegations of extortion by the latter.

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