Dr. Gideon Gono
|Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor|
1 December 2003 – 30 November 2013
|Preceded by||Leonard Tsumba|
|Succeeded by||John Mangudya|
|Born||November 29, 1959|
Buhera District, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe
Prince Gideon Jnr
Gideon Gono is the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) a position he was in from 2003 to 2013. He is also former CEO of the CBZ Holdings, formerly known as the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, and Jewel Bank. Gono is known mostly for having led the country's central bank in a period of historic hyperinflation that went up to as much as 89,700,000,000,000,000,000,000% (89 sextillion %). Just before the Zimbabwe dollar was suspended as legal tender in 2009, Gono had issued a ZW $10 trillion note.
Gono was born on 29 November 1959 in Buhera District, Manicaland Province. His mother is from Chivi District, Masvingo Province. He married Helen Tsitsi in December 1982 and together have four children two boys Passion Peter, Prince Gideon Jnr, and identical twin girls, Pride Emily and Praise Emily.
Gono did his secondary education at Daramombe Secondary School in Chivhu, Mashonaland East Province. In 1979-80 he did his Ordinary Levels and Advanced Levels through correspondence with Rapid Results College. He continued with distance learning from 1980–86 and received a Pitman Advanced Bookkeeping Diploma, a 10-subjects Zimbabwe Association of Accounting Technicians (ZAAT) Diploma, and a 16-subjects Chartered Institute of Secretaries (CIS) Diploma.
From July 1991 to June 1994 he studied as a part-time student for an MBA degree at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). Having graduated as one of the top 5 students in the MBA programme, he was honored by a request from the administrators of the programme at the University to become a part-time lecturer teaching MBA modules in Banking, Money and Capital Markets from July 1994 to July 1997.In January 1996 he was appointed to the Council of the University of Zimbabwe and immediately became Chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee. Then he was appointed Chairman of the Council, in July 1997. During about the same period, from 1996 to 1997, he served on the Council of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators (CIS) in Zimbabwe and chaired the Council’s Professional Competency Committee in charge of student curriculum and related matters. He had previously served on the Zimbabwe Association of Accounting Technicians (ZAAT) Council after graduating in 1984/85. Then on 18 August 2001 Gono was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the University of Zimbabwe Council. This was in recognition to his national development service, professional and academic achievements over a period of 24 years. In 2005-2008 he studied and completed a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Strategic Management by the Atlantic International University (AIU) in the United States.
Gono began working as office help and doubling as a messenger at National Breweries Kwekwe in 1977. Then in 1981 he was promoted to Senior Accounts Clerk and served in this position until April 1983. He left National Breweries in May 1983 Kwekwe, relocated to Harare and joined the Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company (ZFC) as an Administrative/Accounting Officer. He held this position for 10 months after which, in March 1984, moved to Van Leer (Zimbabwe) Private Limited in Harare where he was employed as a Bookkeeper and Assistant Accountant. Later, in July 1985, the company promoted him to the position of Financial Accountant. After serving 42 months he left Van Leer in March 1987 to join the Zimbabwe Development Bank (ZDB) as its Chief Accountant from April 1987 to June 1988.
He was then promoted to the position of Finance Manager and Secretary to the Board and the Bank between July 1988 and June 1990 and was further promoted to become ZDB’s General Manager from July 1990 to January 1995. In February 1995 he was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe Holdings Limited (CBZ). This appointment was made despite the collapse in 1991 of The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) that had been CBZ’s major shareholder.
He has served on the boards of various corporations and organizations including Anglo-American Zimbabwe (Bindura Mines), 1999 Constitutional Commission, Rainbow Tourism Group, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation(as Chairman of its board between 2000 and 2003), Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Board of Governors and Zimbabwe Children’s Rehabilitation Trust (ZCRT) among many others.
On 26 June 2017, Gideon Gono was appointed board chairman of the Special Economic Zones.
Gono was first appointed as Governor of the RBZ in November 2003 this was at the time when Zimbabwe was experiencing extreme economic hardships. It was after the land reform program that had taken place in 2000. Then in November 2008, Gono was reappointed to a new five-year term as Governor, beginning on 1 December 2008. He stepped down on 30 November 2013 after a 10-year term at the helm of the Reserve Bank.
The Farm Mechanisation Scheme 2007 was championed by then governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr. Gideon Gono. The program targeted the country’s newly-resettled farmers who were then helped with farm implements on a rent-to-buy basis. The programmed was riddled with corruption and more than US$200 million was pumped into the four-phase farm mechanisation programme which did not produce expected results.
The Zimbabwe Inflation
The RBZ demonetized old banknotes on 1 August 2006 and introduced a new currency. Each new Zimbabwe dollar was worth 1000 old Zimbabwe dollars. The highest denominations for the new currency were 1, 10, and 100 thousand revalued dollars. A year later on 1 August 2007, Gono authorized a 200 thousand dollar denomination. This marked the start of a series of new denominations issued in rapid succession, including 250, 500, and 750 thousand dollars (20 December 2007); 1, 5, and 10 million dollars (16 January 2008); 25 and 50 million dollars (4 April 2008); 100 and 250 million dollars (5 May 2008); 500 million and 5, 25, and 50 billion dollars (20 May 2008); and 100 billion dollars (21 July 2008). From the time of currency revaluation to the beginning of June 2008 the money supply in the country increased from billion to more than quadrillion, or a 20,000,000 fold increase.
Attempt at Politics
After having resigned from his post as the Reserve Bank Governor, Gono made two attempts to be elected as a senator for the Zanu-PF political party and he was unsuccessful. Gono had sought provincial backing to get the senatorial seat for Manicaland province. It was reported that Gono's senatorial bid was supported by the politburo only to have the move turned down by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on the basis that he was not a registered voter in the province.
After having moved on from the technicalities that prevented his initial plans, Gono sought provincial backing for his senatorial bid. However, the second bid was only to be in favor of Shadreck Chipanga. The senatorial seat of the province had got vacant following the ouster of John Mvundura .In January 2015 it was reported that Zanu-PF Manicaland Province had formally written to the party’s leadership recommending that the Senate post left by the late Kumbirai Kangai be taken up by Shadreck Chipanga. Manicaland Province’s acting chairperson Samuel Undenge told the media that the province had chosen Chipanga because of his political experience and loyal service to the party.
Role In November 2017 Military Coup
Gideon Gono played a key role in negotiations that saw Robert Mugabe finally resign after 37 years in power. This came to light after a picture of Gono was leaked showing him with Mugabe and former First Lady Grace Mugabe. He confirmed the picture was indeed taken on Tuesday 21 November 2017 from the “Blue Roof” private mansion that belongs to the former First Family. This was just after Mugabe had resigned in a letter to the Speaker of Parliament.
Asked why he ( Gono) went to assist the former president to negotiate his exit when he is not part of the ZANU ( PF) structures or government machinery for the purpose, Gono responded:
"People tend to run away from you when the chips are down and few will have the courage to stand by you during your darkest moments. I have experienced it personally before, when I retired from governorship in 2014 but I cannot be the evil that I don’t like to see happen to me. I’m not ashamed to say that I have remained loyal and a friend of the former President to the end, not for financial or commercial reasons but from a point of principle. Even with the incoming President, Cde E. D.Mnangagwa, when everyone deserted him in 2004/5 (alleged Tsholotsho coup), I am proud to state publicly that I was one of the few who fearlessly remained standing by him during those low moments in his political life and His Excellency the Former President, Cde R G Mugabe knew about it and never discouraged me from associating with him. So, issues of loyalty to me count a lot more in my life than political expediency or anyform of gold, silver or opportunity. Those who are friends with me know that I will not waiver on a day they need my umbrella."
Gono lives in Harare with his family where he runs a chicken farm. This is where he has a highly-integrated Lunar Chickens project. He has set up highly-automated, large-scale chicken farming and processing complexes that are driving the Zimbabwean chicken market under his Lunar brand. This made him the first black Zimbabwean to venture into this kind of manufacturing business.
In August 2018, Profeeds (Pvt) Ltd petitioned the court seeking an order to compel Lunar Chickens to pay US$89 517 for chicken feed allegedly supplied to it over four years ago. Profeeds issued summons against Lunar Chickens alongside Velenjani Lupankwa, Levi Maundura and Tenbach Investments (Pvt) Ltd on July 13, through its lawyers Gwaunza and Mapota Legal Practitioners.
Lupankwa bound himself as surety and co-principal debtor with Lunar Chickens, while Tenbach Investments (Pvt) Ltd passed a $100 000 surety mortgage bond in favour of Profeeds as continuing covering security.
Profeeds said sometime in January 2014, it entered into an agreement with Lunar Chickens for the sale of feed to it on credit and in terms of the agreement, Gono’s business would purchase feed on credit payable within 30 days of delivery. 
In March 2015, a South African company, ASP Marketing CC sued Lunar Chickens over a $2,2 million debt at the High Court. The company alleged that Gono, as the director of Lunar Chickens, entered into various agreements for the supply of tonnes of maize and soya beans that would be used to produce feed for the poultry business. Lunar Chickens did not pay for the delivery, resulting in ASP Marketing approaching the High Court for an order compelling the poultry firm to settle the debt.
In September 2016, ZESA sued Gideon Gono over an $87,000 electricity bill. The City of Harare had also issued summons for Gono to pay up his rates bill amounting to $59,000.
Loss of Property Due To Debt
In August 2016, The Chronicle reported that Gono was set to lose his Greystone Park property over non-payment of a $1,3 million debt.
This was because Gono bought several vehicles on credit from a local car dealer Oasis Motors in January 2009 for his staff and operations at Lunar Chickens and other companies but failed to settle the debt.
Oasis Motors successfully sued him at the High Court and obtained an order for payment of the debt.
The vehicles were valued at $1,749, 000, but Dr Gono partly paid the debt, leaving a balance of $1, 319, 000.
According to the agreement, Gideon Gono was supposed to pay the debt in full by January 31, 2010, but failed.
Gono did not pay the debt resulting in the attachment of the immovable property in Greystone Park measuring 4,654 square metres. On 16 August 2016, Zim Auctions and Real Estate advertised the sale of Number 8 Edstone Road, Greystone Park. The property was set to be auctioned on August 26 in Harare.
In opposing Oasis Motors in an affidavit dated February 17, 2015, Gono argued that at the time when the agreement of sale was signed, charging in foreign currency was illegal hence the acknowledgement of debt relied upon by Oasis Motors should be dismissed as an illegality.
Gideon Gono also argued that the acknowledgement of debt relied upon is dated January 31, 2009, hence the suit must fail because it was filed outside the three-year period permitted in terms of the Prescription Act.
Gideon Gono has a company named TD Energy as reported by The Herald on 21 November 2016. The Herald reported that Gono chairs TD Energy’s board of directors. According to the report, the company was going to invest at least $80 million in the construction of its 40,8-megawatt solar power plant in Norton. The report stated that TD Energy had already received approval from regulators such as the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority for its Hunyani Solar Plant. The Herald also reported that the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), which would buy power from the Norton plant, approved the solar power project after concluding that it was technically compliant and critical to augment its grid power supplies.
The report also stated that TD Energy’s unnamed foreign technical partner would fund the project. Construction work was expected to take 56 weeks.
Gono was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for mathematics in 2009 "for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers from very small to very big — by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).
Gideon Gono Interview
- The Story of My Life- Gideon Gono, ZimboJam, Published: June 11, 2009, Retrieved; December: 16, 2014
- Gono appointed SEZ board chairman, The Herald, Published: June 27, 2017, Retrieved: December 17, 2021
- Zim extends bank chief's tenure, Fin24 News, Published: November 26, 2008, Retrieved: December 16, 2014
- Veritas Slash the Zim.Dollar zeros again, The Zimbabwean, Published: July 30, 2008, Retrieved: December 16, 2014
- Obey Manayiti Gono senatorial bid flops again, NewsDay, Published: December 15, 2014, Retrieved: December 16, 2014,
- Kuda Bwititi Manicaland leaves Gono in the cold, The Sunday Mail, Retrieved:4 Jan 2015, Published:4 Jan 2015
- Lance Guma, EXCLUSIVE: Gideon Gono played key role in Mugabe resignation: Comments on leaked picture with #Mugabe and Grace, Nehanda Radio, Published: November 23, 2017, Retrieved: December 17, 2021
- Gift Phiri Gono: From teaboy to poultry magnate, Nehanda Radio, Published: May 19, 2013, Retrieved: December 16, 2014
- CHARLES LAITON, Gono’s business sued over chicken feed, The Standard, Published: August 5, 2018, Retrieved: December 22, 2021
- Daniel Nemukuyu, SA firm sues Gono over $2,2m, The Herald, Published: March 12, 2015, Retrieved: December 22, 2021
- Tatenda Dewa, ZESA sue Gideon Gono over $87,000 electricity bill ZESA sue Gideon Gono over $87,000 electricity bill, Nehanda Radio, Published: September 12, 2016, Retrieved: December 22, 2021
- Tatenda Dewa, Gono sued over debt, Nehanda Radio, Published: September 11, 2016, Retrieved: December 22, 2021
- Daniel Nemukuyu, Gono to lose house over $1,3m debt, The Chronicle, Published: August 17, 2016, Retrieved: December 22, 2021
- Gono’s firm to invest $80m in solar project, The Herald, Published: November 21, 2016, Retrieved: December 17, 2021
- Winners of the Ig® Nobel Prize, Improbable Research, Retrieved: December 16, 2014