Reported comments by Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on Wednesday returned a dispute within the country's fractious national unity government over the tenure of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono to the political front burner.

Mutambara was quoted in the state-controlled Herald newspaper as urging Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to work with the central banker, accused by many of stoking hyperinflation and misappropriating funds, instead of demanding he be sacked or step down.

Reached by VOA, Mutambara said he could not comment as he was in a meeting.

The Herald said Mutambara made the remarks Tuesday in a meeting with small-scale miners. The paper said Gono himself was present along with other government officials.

The comments brought a statement from Mr. Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for Democratic Change saying Gono must depart as agreed under the Global Political Agreement signed in September 2008 by President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara.

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Gono's departure is needed to bolster investor confidence.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...