Zimbabwe central bank chief refused entry into Britain

Zimbabwe's central bank chief Gideon Gono was recently refused entry into Britain after the government in London said his visit could lead to public protests, state media reported Friday.

 Zimbabwe central bank chief refused entry into Britain
Zimbabwe's central bank chief Gideon Gono was recently refused entry into Britain after the government in London said his visit could lead to public protests, state media reported Friday.

Britain accuses Gono of "involvement in corrupt practices that have undermined democracy and the rule of law" in crisis-ridden Zimbabwe, the Herald newspaper reported, citing an August 17 letter signed on behalf of Britain's Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

The letter said that as reserve bank governor, Gono was Mugabe's "personal banker", and could be "involved in the misappropriation of state funds."

Mugabe and members of his inner circle, including Gono, are banned from travelling to the European Union and the United States as part of a package imposed after the president allegedly rigged his 2002 re-election.

"Gono's presence in the United Kingdom would not be conducive to the public good," the newspaper reported, referring to his UK visit in 2004, which caused an uproar when he encouraged exiled Zimbabweans to remit foreign currency to their families back home through the central bank.

"Your presence led to public protests in London, Luton and Birmingham by angry crowds who accused you of trying to to raise money to support Robert Mugabe's collapsing regime."

Britain feared that "any future admission of you to the UK may lead again to an increase in community tension," the letter said.

The former colonial power said it also considered that it "would not be appropriate to allow you the priviledge of entering the UK where you would enjoy a platform to justify your actions and give them credibility."

A spokesman of the bank, Kumbirai Nhongo, quoted by the Herald, said that it was for Zimbabweans to decide whether the actions of "our governor are inimical to their interests or not."

Zimbabwe, with the world's highest inflation rate of more than 7,500 percent, has blamed its economic woes on the targetted sanctions.

AFP
Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2007, 12:41
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