Mugabe stands by central bank chief

HARARE: President Robert Mugabe has vowed to keep the central bank governor in his post despite demands by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that he be removed.

State radio on Tuesday quotes Mugabe as saying central bank chief Gideon Gono "saved the country" with the measures he took.

Others have criticized Gono for printing Zimbabwe dollars until they were worthless and raiding hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign currency accounts belonging to aid groups and private businesses.

Mugabe made his comments during a funeral Monday for Gono's brother Peter.

Mugabe reappointed Gono to a second five-year term in November. Former opposition leader Tsvangirai says that appointment violates his power-sharing deal with Mugabe.