3 April 2013

Zimbabwe: Gono Speaks On Gold Coins

RESERVE Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono yesterday displayed the gold coins which he was alleged to have stolen from the bank's vaults to refute the allegations.

Addressing journalists, Dr Gono said the accusations were baseless and were the work of his enemies, singling out an ex-official of the apex bank as being behind the rumour mill.

Dr Gono said the apex bank would ordinarily not respond to trivial allegations, but the board of directors felt the need to set the record straight on the claims. He said that the central bank board of directors felt obligated to clarify issues regarding the claims of the allegedly stolen gold coins after seeing that "things had gone below the ground level".

"There were allegations that the governor made away with gold coins and that the governor had fled the country. Part of the reason why I have invited you is that you see (the coins) and that I am not a miracle, I am real," said Dr Gono.

Deputy RBZ governor Dr Khupukile Mlambo read a statement of the bank's board of governors refuting the allegations carried on some social media alleging the disappearance of the coins, some dating back to 1869.

"Some of those false accusations have been made by a former RBZ staffer who has been sued for criminal defamation and the matter remains subjudice because the wheels of justice are still to turn," said Dr Mlambo.

Ernst and Young said that they observed the counting of the gold coins as of March 25 2013 and noted that all coins were classified per year minted on the coins, recorded the description of the coin and year minted on the coins and compared the quantity as per client's records.

The accountants said they noted six classes of coins namely Kruger Rands, Edward the 7th, Elizabeth the 2nd, George the 5th, Victoria Crowned and Victoria Uncrowned during the verification.

Social networks were recently awash with claims that Dr Gono had fled the country to seek sanctuary in Egypt when he had travelled to the North African country for an Afreximbank quarterly meeting.

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