Blast from the past: Gideo Gono's 1980s photos trend on social media » ZOOM Zimbabwe News

Blast from the past: Gideo Gono’s 1980s photos trend on social media

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A 1980s picture of former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono clad in Levi’s blue jeans is doing the rounds on social media and people are talking.

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 in Manicaland Province.

He did his secondary education at Daramombe Secondary School in Chivu, 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.

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.

In February 1995 he was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe Holdings Limited (later just called CBZ).

He also was once chairman of the powerful University of Zimbabwe Council.

Gono was first appointed as Governor of the RBZ in November 2003 by former President Robert Mugabe. 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 and Gono became popular wit his “failure is not an option” mantra.

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He doled out farm inputs and machinery to ZANU-PF chefs, building up a huge debt which was eventually passed on to the tax payer.

Gideon Gono

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.

After leaving the RBZ, Gono attempted to land a Senatorial seat in Buhera, to replace the late Kumbirai Kangai, but the move reportedly fell flat due to factional fights within ZANU-PF.

He has also tried his hand in business, running a chicken business called Lunar Chickens which was a huge success initially, before things went tipsy-turvy.

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