Zimbabwe Profiles People Gideon Gono Biography: Early Life | Education | Career | RBZ Governorship

Gideon Gono Biography: Early Life | Education | Career | RBZ Governorship

Gideon Gono Biography: Early Life | Education | Career | RBZ Governorship post thumbnail image

This is the biography of Gideon Gono, a Zimbabwean economist and banker best known for his tenure as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe from 2003 to 2013, during which he faced the challenge of hyperinflation. He is also recognised for his close association with the late President Robert Mugabe and his involvement in the country’s financial and political affairs.


Early Life And Education

Gideon Gono was born on November 29, 1959, in Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which is now Zimbabwe. He attended Daramombe High School, an Anglican Mission school in Chivhu. His early career began modestly as a tea boy at National Breweries in Que Que in 1977. Demonstrating a strong commitment to self-improvement, Gono advanced his education through correspondence courses, completing both O-Level and A-Level studies. He then moved on to work as a bookkeeper at the Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company.

Gono’s academic journey continued as he pursued higher education, obtaining a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Zimbabwe. He also served as a lecturer there and later became the head of the university council. His dedication to education was further evidenced by his earning a PhD in Strategic Management in 2007 from Atlantic International University.


Gideon Gono Career

Gono’s career is marked by significant achievements in the banking sector. He began his career as a tea boy at National Breweries in 1977 and worked his way up through various positions. After serving as an accountant at Van Leer Packaging, he became the finance manager at the Zimbabwe Development Bank in 1987, eventually rising to the post of general manager.

In 1995, Gono was appointed managing director of the Bank of Credit and Commerce of Zimbabwe (BCCZ). Under his leadership, BCCZ became the largest and most successful bank in Zimbabwe, later known as Jewel Bank and later the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ).

His most notable role was as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), where he served from 2003 to 2013. Gono was known for his efforts to combat hyperinflation in Zimbabwe during his tenure.

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Gideon Gono As Governor Of The RBZ

Gideon Gono Biography

Gideon Gono Biography [Image: Harare Post]


Gono’s tenure as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) from 2003 to 2013 was a period of significant economic challenges for Zimbabwe. He was appointed as the Governor of the RBZ in November 2003 due to his reputation as a turnaround specialist, especially for his work at the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe.

During his governorship, Gono implemented various policies to try to stabilize the Zimbabwean dollar, which faced hyperinflation. He declared inflation the number one enemy, but by the end of 2007, inflation was spiralling out of control, with people struggling to withdraw their money from banks. Gono responded to the cash crisis by removing zeroes from the currency, an act that was repeated multiple times. Despite removing a total of 25 zeroes, the currency continued to lose value. The largest denomination under the local currency era, the Z$100 trillion, was rejected the day it was launched.

Gono’s tenure was also marked by quasi-fiscal activities, which were interventions outside the budget financed by the RBZ. These activities were undertaken to boost production and were necessitated by what Gono described as a “complete abrogation of duty” by some government ministries and parastatals. However, these quasi-fiscal activities were criticised for lacking transparency and contributing to the economic crisis.

Gono’s term ended on a low note, with him stepping down on November 30, 2013, after failing to present the statutory mid-term review that was due at the end of July amid indications that the Treasury was still to approve the statement. Gono’s decade at the RBZ was a tumultuous time for Zimbabwe’s economy, with his policies and actions being subject to both national and international scrutiny. The period was characterised by extreme measures to control hyperinflation and currency devaluation, which had profound effects on the country’s financial system and the lives of its citizens.

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Gideon Gono Personal Life

Gideon Gono Biography

Gideon Gono Biography [Image: Kudakwashe Hunda]


Gono leads a relatively private personal life. He was born in Buhera District, Manicaland Province. His mother is from Chivi District, Masvingo Province. Gono married Helen Tsitsi in December 1982, and together, they have four children: two sons, Passion Peter and Prince Gideon Jnr, and identical twin daughters, Pride Emily and Praise Emily.

Gono had a close friendship with the late President Robert Mugabe. This relationship was significant during his time as the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, and it impacted his tenure and the policies he implemented. Gono also played a role in negotiating a safe exit for Mugabe during the political transition in Zimbabwe in 2017. However, there have been rumours and reports of an alleged affair between Gono and Grace Mugabe, which stirred varied reactions but remain unconfirmed. Gono’s connection with the Mugabe family was evident as he was involved in clarifying details about Mugabe’s burial arrangements.




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