March 4 (Reuters) - Here are some facts on Zimbabwe’s central bank governor, Gideon Gono, whose fate could be key to Western aid needed to rebuild the economy.
-- Gono’s term as central bank governor has spanned the economic collapse of once-prosperous Zimbabwe, which now suffers shortages of basic goods and inflation estimated last July at 231 million percent but widely believed to be much higher.
-- In an effort to deal with hyperinflation, Gono has introduced higher denomination notes and lopped a total of 25 zeros off the Zimbabwe dollar, but it has continued to lose value.
-- A power struggle is shaping up between Gono, who is a close ally of President Robert Mugabe, and Finance Minister Tendai Biti, from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, who took office in the new power-sharing government.
-- Gono, born in Nov. 1959, went to the Zimbabwe Development Bank (ZDB) where he occupied various positions from 1987. The bank was one of the few successful Development Banks in Africa. He was appointed General Manager three years later and held that post until 1995.
-- He became head of the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe in Feb 1995. He was appointed to lead the central bank in Dec. 2003 and said he took the job because he relished the challenge. Gono was re-appointed as Central Bank governor for a second five-year term in Nov. 2008.