Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

An open letter to Gideon Gono


With the top job at the International Monetary Fund up for grabs – thanks to the quintessentially Gallic behaviour of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’t-take-no-for-an-answer – I hope you have applied for the position. I can’t think of a better candidate.

Did you know your name means “Destroyer” in Hebrew? Your mother must have been a visionary, because you have done a magnificent job of destroying Zimbabwe’s economy. Please don’t take this as criticism. African economies function much like fynbos – every few years they have to be razed to the ground so they may flourish anew.

Your name will go down in history as the man who, in the space of a few weeks, turned every Zimbabwean into a billionaire. You should have been hailed as a hero. Instead, people blamed you for everything from food and fuel shortages to covertly debriefing President Mugabe’s enchanting wife, Grace. Hell, who cares what they think! Let them eat snake. The important thing is that you weren’t shoved up against a wall and shot 13 times in the head. A very forgiving man, that Mr Mugabe.

When your critics ask you about hyperinflation, tell them it is no more serious than hypertension. Give them some aspirin and tell them to get lots of rest. Preferably in a homeless shelter in Joburg.

There’s one thing I need to say, though. I think you should bring the Zim dollar back. What’s the point of being governor of the Reserve Bank if anyone can wander across your border with a bag of Israeli shekels or a pocketful of Polish zlotys and buy whatever they like? A country without its own currency is like a Porsche without petrol. It might look good standing there, but it’s not going to get very far.

God-forsaken hellholes like Guam and Kiribati don’t have their own currency. Do you want to be known as the Guam of Africa?

I hear you want to introduce something called a “gold-backed Zimbabwe dollar”. To be honest, I’m not sure it would work. A friend of mine from Harare, Somnolent Molokele, said he thought the temptation to scrape off the gold and throw the note away would be too much for most people. Nice idea, though. Just a bit impractical for a country like yours.


Recent comments:

  • tafaraz
    June 29th, 2011 @22:19 #

    Open letter to Ben Trovato

    Dear Ben

    Yo open letter to dr Gideon the destroyer Gono could not have come at a better time. You may be wondering about my use of the title dr before the governor's name. Since he does not really have a Phd, but is an accomplished destroyer, I figured it is polite to shorten his achievement to dr. Anyway its a pity because Lagarde is already confirmed CEO of the IMF to replace Strauss.

    Thanks for trying anyway.


Please register or log in to comment

» View comments as a forum thread and add tags in BOOK Chat