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Zimbabwe President Mugabe Refuses to Remove Bank Governor 

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has reportedly set off friction in the coalition government after refusing to remove the governor of the reserve bank. Appearing live on television Monday, President Mugabe said central bank Governor Gideon Gono will remain in his position.

The move is widely expected increase tensions with coalition partners, including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Mugabe blames the west for influencing the prime minister and his party to demand the removal of the central bank governor.

Simba Makoni, a presidential candidate in Zimbabwe's last election, told VOA integrity has been elusive in the coalition government.

"Quite clearly, President Mugabe has confidence in the governor of the bank that he will do as he has done in the past -- the kinds of things that President Mugabe wants at the central bank," he said.

Makoni says some members of ZANU-PF's coalition partner blame the bank governor for the country's economic challenges.

"Everyone outside President Mugabe's circle believes that the woes that the country is in were fueled by some of the policies pursued… so they believe that pursuing the same policies in the coalition government is not in the interest of the country," he said.

Makoni concurs with the Morgan Tsvangirai and his supporters who want a new person to head the central bank.

"The reappointment of Governor Gono was not in keeping with the letter and spirit of the Global Political Agreement that brought the inclusive government," Makoni said.

He said the embattled president often refuses to take responsibilities for his actions, but routinely blames the west.

"There is nothing new there. You now that all these years, Mugabe has blamed the condition of our country on what he calls western detractors because he won't accept responsibility for the policies he has pursued," he said.

Makoni said President Mugabe still thinks others can be influenced.

"He won't accept that other Zimbabweans can take a different stance from his, independently from any other influence. Other people must always be influenced by outsiders except himself," Makoni objected.

He said there seems to be a lack of commitment in the coalition government which is causing problems.

"There is only one way forward. If people are honest and genuine about what they agreed in the Global Political Agreement, then they should pursue those agreements honestly and genuinely," he said.

Makoni said sharp divisions still exist over a full implementation of the agreement which led to formation of the coalition government.

"One of those agreements has to do with appointments of public officers in important offices, which were to be done by agreement between the parties in the Global Political Agreement," Makoni said.

He said President Mugabe appointed some ministers without the consent of the coalition partners, setting of an impasse in the unity government.

"It is quite clear that the governor of the reserve bank and the attorney general and other pubic officers were not appointed in accordance with the Global Political Agreement," he said.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently pleaded with regional leaders and the African Union to mediate his dispute over the appointment of reserve bank boss Gideon Gono.