By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
10 January 2014
Gideon Gono and Munyaradzi Kereke. Mere mention of these two names in Zimbabwe stirs up heated debate over their feud.
Is their fight really just over factionalism in the ruling ZANU PF party? Or did a shared history of animosity between the wealthy businessmen and their camps trigger it?
Observers agree the real turning point in the feud, according to accounts given by friends and colleagues of the two protagonists, was after their fallout at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
Since the two fell out in January 2012, when Gono reportedly fired Kereke from the central bank, the pair has been trading barbs and throwing accusations at each other. Soon after Kereke left the RBZ he launched a fierce verbal assault on Gono, claiming that he did the academic work for his ex-boss’s doctoral degree.
He then made sensational claims that Gono looted over $37,5 million and gold from the RBZ, at a time when Zimbabweans were wallowing in poverty. In late 2012 Gono hit back at Kereke and filed a $25 million lawsuit for defamation.
After that things went cold, until Kereke reignited the feud in November last year when he approached the Constitutional Court demanding to know why the courts were not prosecuting Gono on corruption allegations.
This time Gono came out guns blazing, lobbing verbal grenades at Kereke and accusing his nemesis of suffering from ‘legitimate psychological and psychotic issues’ that required expert medical assistance.
Gono also reminded Kereke that he was no angel himself, an implicit reference to allegations Kereke is facing of raping a minor and being shielded from prosecution because he’s well-connected in police and judiciary circles.
Harare based journalist and analyst Itai Dzamara, who has been closely following the case said one thing which is clear from the expose is that Kereke’s allegations cannot be taken lightly.
“I think Kereke’s allegations cannot be dismissed cheaply as people might think its sour grapes because Gono fired him the RBZ. These two worked together for over ten years and had a close working relationship. Each would have knowledge of what the other did, even deep secrets.”
“I believe Kereke cannot just wake up in the morning and accuse Gono of wrongdoing without the hard facts. This will be an accusation that a court of law can be able to deal with,” Dzamara said.