Sunday, June 21, 2009

Zimbabwe officials wrangle over bank turf

Published: June 20, 2009 at 9:02 PM.
HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 20 (UPI) -- An effort is under way to circumvent Zimbabwe's central bank so certain donor funds can be controlled by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, observers say.
The wrangling over the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe began when Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe named Gideon Gono governor and another member of his ZANU-PF party, Johannes Tomana, as attorney general, the IRIN news agency reported Saturday.
Gono allegedly has admitted raiding the bank accounts of private individuals and non-profit organizations for foreign currency.
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party argues the Gono and Tomana appointments were an end-around on a global political agreement in February that created the unity government. Mugabe has refused to concede the point and recently got the support of the armed forces, which contends Gono's position as central bank governor was "non-negotiable."
Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the MDC will have oversight of a Multi-Donor Trust Fund that will accept donations with a cabinet committee on aid coordination led by Tsvangirai, responsible for disbursing funds.
Gorden Moyo, an MDC minister of state, told local media the arrangement is meant to assuage concerns in the donor community about how their money will be spent.
"We now have a framework of operation, and it sends a clear message that Zimbabwe is ready to receive aid and use it effectively for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe," Moyo said.

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