HARARE – Munyaradzi Kereke, former advisor to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has written to the Speaker of Parliament seeking leave to table before the High Court of Zimbabwe evidence that his ex-boss stole millions in public funds.
Kereke wrote to the Speaker after Gono filed a $10million defamation lawsuit in the High Court against his former aide claiming he made false statements that tarnished his reputation.
The suit in the High Court claims Kereke’s allegations that Gono stole public funds – including US$6,5 million to purchase real estate – were made with the intention to harm Gono and injure his reputation.
Now Kereke, who said he was put under oath under the Official Secrets Acts before he left the central bank to keep bank secrets under wraps, now wants leave from Parliament to table before the High Court damning
evidence about Gono’s alleged theft.
“Hon. Speaker, I write to you to make a landmark request that the parliament of Zimbabwe grants me leave and immunity to source and produce before the High Court of Zimbabwe information which I know certainly exists proving the rampant acts of theft of millions of public funds fraud, corruption, gross abuse of office, betrayal of national interests and breach of the Official Secrets Act and other vices by Dr Gono, Governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,” Kereke says in his 3 September 2012 letter to Speaker Lovemore Moyo.
Kereke, who was booted out of the central bank in January, was sued by Gono for publishing on the Internet a damning 12-page 28 February 2012 letter that Gono pushed him out of the RBZ ostensibly to discipline
him for alleged transgressions, “yet you know very well that you did so to cover up the multiple acts of criminal frauds you, Dr Gono did for your own personal gain with your family,” he says in the letter attached as an annexure to Gono’s defamation suit.
Besides accusing Gono of corruption and fraud, Kereke also sensationally claimed he had done the academic reasearch that earned the RBZ chief a PhD. But in papers filed in the High Court last week, Gono says the “false” allegations have damaged his good name and demands $10million from Kereke.
“The statement was understood by the readers of the letter and intended by defendant to mean, amongst other things, that plaintiff is dishonest, a liar, a cheat, treasonous, without integrity, not fit to hold a public office, in that he has committed unlawful acts of theft, has lied, has cheated, drafted laws that would result in civil war, is a criminal and has and has used his office to engage members of government to silence defendant,” said Gono’s attorneys, Dube, Manikai and Hwacha law firm.
“As a result of the defamation, plaintiff has been damaged in his good name and reputation and has suffered damages in the amount of $10million.” Kereke, through his lawyers Gasa Nyamadzawo and Associates, last Saturday responded to the suit.
“Be pleased to take notice that on this 29th day of August, 2012 at 11:10am, the defendant entered an appearance to defend the above action,” Kereke’s lawyer says. Kereke’s letter to Gono, which was widely circulated on the Internet through various Zimbabwe news portals, contained scurrilous allegations against Gono.
“You, Dr Gideon Gono stole public funds and spent millions of US dollars of RBZ money to buy many personal real estate properties (sic) for your own gain,” Kereke’s letter says. “You have lately attempted to cover up these transgressions through an old man lawyer of Asian origin who is based here in Harare and a chartered accounting audit firm also based here in Harare.
Please take note that all the evidence, covering the actual address of the properties and amounts spent is available and this evidence cannot be destroyed by any means you may seek to deploy now even killing me.”
Kereke further claims that Gono cooked up allegations that he had raped a 11-year-old girl two years ago at his home in Vainona. The girl’s lawyer has petitioned the Attorney General Johannes Tomana and police chief Augustine Chihuri in an impassioned cry for justice, saying they wanted written confirmation that they have refused to prosecute Kereke for the alleged rape.
“You (Gono) directly participated and partook in the theft of $6.5million that was stolen from the RBZ under your own signature through a close associate of yours,” Kereke says in his letter.
“I strongly protested against this and you, together with your accomplice went round to high offices in the country spreading lies, including cooking up silly rape stories, as a way to divert attention from what I had strongly protested against.”
Kereke further alleges Gono took “tens of millions of cash through the Security Division of the RBZ for personal gain.”
He claims he has evidence and challenges Gono to “challenge me in an open legal platform so I testify.”
“You abused public assets, ranging from cars, gold bullion, shares, etc for direct personal gain,” Kereke says, adding he has “explicit evidence on this.”
He further says Gono lied to the country’s leadership “to sustain your continued stay at the RBZ, including covering up frauds you would have committed.”
More ominously, Kereke accuses his former boss flouting the Official Secrets Act. “Repeatedly, you and some RBZ board members violated the State Secrets Act (sic), as we as (sic) Section 60 of the RBZ Act by surreptitiously calling journalists to the RBZ and dishing out sensitive confidential materials of the State to undermine the interests of the country’s leadership and that of Zimbabweans in general.”
He further accused Gono of showering strategic office holders in ministries and parastatals with gifts “so that you severally compromise them never to stand against your frauds and corrupt ways.” “You even went to the extent of paying millions of US dollars in cash and assets to the Anti-Corruption Commission to literally cause them to look the other way and keep away from probing you,” Kereke says.
Gono denies all these allegations as “wrongful” in his court papers, saying they were actuated by malice.
Kereke further alleges Gono used RBZ cash to buy two houses as gifts for the wife of an unnamed deputy minister in Harare.
The former aide claims Gono forced him to do all the academic work on his behalf for the entire PhD studies “upon which you were conferred the doctoral degree you now flaunt to the public as your own.”
“You could never have secured a quarter of the PhD requirements using your very limited and blunt academic mental aptitude even in five decades,” Kereke’s letter to Gono says. Gono says in his defamation suit the allegations were wrongful and defamatory.
He says he is seeking relief to the tune of $10million over Kereke’s scurrilous allegations. He wants interest at the prescribed rate to be charged to the $10million from the date of judgment to the date of payment in full.
The High Court is yet to set down the case for a hearing. It is just the latest court action between the two former allies. In May, Kereke sued Gono demanding $2.5million arising from another dispute in which he alleges Gono illegally withdrew $100,000 from his Renaissance Merchant Bank account. Kereke says the illegal withdrawal by Gono left him unable to complete his Rock Foundation Hospital in Harare.