A sad goodbye to Finance ministry

HARARE - Wananchi, I said my farewells to the staff at the ministry of Finance.

Zimbabwe’s greatest asset is its people, when they work together as a team for the national good.

In that regard, they do not come any better than the men and women in Block B, New Government Complex.

For the last four-and-half years, it was a pleasure to work together with a team oblivious to anything but the good of the country. The higher ground norm of what was purely in the best interest of the nation.

Indeed over those years, we faced humongous challenges, let alone an economy whose inflation stood at 500 billion percent, total collapse of industrial capacity utilisation, and revenue collections of a paltry $4 million in January 2009.

We burnt the candle, each day and gradually we brought the beast of macroeconomic misalignment to a turn around.

We fought so many battles and navigated so many rapids and waterfalls, so many that a single book might not do justice to an extraordinary story of economic engineering under such stress and fragility.

What was key, and perhaps what I learnt is the obligation of working as a team. A team is bound by respect, trust and a common work ethic.

Each department knew what it had to do. Each knew the extremely high standards to be maintained. Each knew that any delay or lackadaisicalness would affect the whole.

Above all, one learnt to listen. Each human being, each team member has something to offer. The ability to listen, digest and analyse was always key. Each also accepted the importance of playing in one’s position. A well-oiled cog.

But in all this, the buck would always stop with the team leader. The team leader had to lead, had to suffer all pain and abuse, had to be strong and strong headed, had to inspire, had to be confident and had to have the vision that would lead all.

And in these years I learnt one unsavoury word that I was not normally accustomed to. The word “No”. A necessary and essential word in that world where we faced the trilemma of huge demand, high expectations and no fiscal leg room.

So I said zikomo, to a place that had been a home and to a team that had been family. Zikomo.

Going foward, the debt question is one that will continue haunting this country for a long, long time.

The country’s unvalidated sovereign debt of $10,7 billion is one of the structural binds of the economy.

This debt is 103 percent of GDP of which over 70 percent is accumulated arrears.

Zimbabwe defaulted on its international debt obligations way back in 1999.

Since then it has not been able to access cheap credit from IFIs and international capital markets.

A horrible political status quo over the years has also exacerbated the isolation from international capital markets.

In the face of political and default challenges, Zimbabwe in the last years has not been able to access capital in the form of direct overseas development assistance, foreign direct investment or cheap international credit.

Its fiscal diamond has thus been skewered and abnormal.

However, to execute a sustained programme of reconstruction, Zimbabwe has to have access to grant or concessional capital, particularly from the IFIs that is the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other international financial institutions

The kind of resources needed for gross capital formation which has never happened in this country for pretty much over forty years is huge.

Think of what needs to be done in respect of electricity, water and sanitation, the roads and dams.
A few years ago, the African Development Bank put the cost of Zimbabwe’s infrastructural needs at $14 billion in the outlook period to 2020.

Thus, politics and noise aside, Zimbabwe genuinely needs the huge capital stored in these IFIs.

It follows that the debt question is not about debt but a development question, about the enclave question and how we move beyond the same.

It is precisely because of this that we developed the Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears, Debt and Development Strategy which in May this year resulted in the agreement between Zimbabwe and the IMF for a Staff Monitored Programme (SMP).

The agreement of May was arrived after years of internal and external manoeuvring and persuasion. In short, after a lot of hard, hard work.

It is an agreement that is so critical to this country that its integrity and execution should be preserved and honoured.

They might not know it but this will be a major, major test.

Wananchi, the momentum is gathering pace to frenetic levels of sanitising the grand theft of July 31.

We will watch the charades from sidelines knowing full well that these are desperate antics from desperate people who cheated desperately.

However, self evidently, there are desperate attempts to create fear and to emasculate the Wananchi.
They are threats to arrest everyone including our president.

For what? Little people who major in minors are on the loose. The arch angels of chaos.

We are watching them. History is watching them.

They made their move and we make ours, for one thing and one thing alone, the restoration of legitimacy to the motherland.

The cracks are there, huge, huge cracks. Watch them deepen.

Just watch. Zikomo.

Comments (58)

Goodbye MR Biti. Thank you for the wonderful-wonderful work you did for your beloved country in the past 4 yrs. So, superb was your work that even your worst foes in ZANU PF, whose still possess some marrow in their brains can cherish. Only empty tins fail to cherish the good work you selflessly did 4 your motherland. We look forward to having you again at the helm of our finance ministry in future should Zim be finally liberated in our life time, or more importantly before our generation gets as old as 89. Enjoy a less stressful life Mr Biti so that when duty calls it finds you fit. You forever salute. What a breathing HERO! You prove indeed to be the most informed & knowledgeable finance minister that Zim has ever had. I salute you, Mr brilliant LAWYER cum ECONOMIC ENGINEER.

mapingu - 22 August 2013

You are a great statesman,a living hero and your works will be forever emulated!! No one can deny that you did a great job in office, even those in the dark knows that! We salute you.

finance student - 22 August 2013

You are a great statesman,a living hero and your works will be forever emulated!! No one can deny that you did a great job in office, even those in the dark knows that! We salute you.

finance student - 22 August 2013

You are indeed a tru player and a game hanger only you did not have a leader in the so called MDC-T the party is like a snake without a head, Please push for change in the Leadership of the MDC and perhaps maybe join the Ncube faction and you are guaranteed my VOTE

Mfana Ka Sobhuku... - 22 August 2013

"Little people who major in minors are on the loose. The arch angels of chaos." From Feeble minded Chinoz to his dear leader...Ahh finish.

Lt General Levi - 22 August 2013

You are one of the greatest ministers ever to be produced in Zimbabwe. We love you for your stance in trying times you were in office. Everything you have done was for the best of the nation. hats off!!! Wonder who will replace you

munashe - 22 August 2013

We know you are a real treasure and one day you will be back to serve the nation...time is watching!!!

hallen - 22 August 2013

I am a zanu pf supporter but l know that you are a great guy man! All the finance ministers we had never were in control, they were just 'yes men' who wont stand with principles even to the president. Even our war vets know that kana kusina mari hakuna. indeed you are an ernest man Biti and so courageous and progressive!

zanupf supporter - 22 August 2013

Am not a politician, but 21 gun salute to you Sir. If the nation could have six more Bitis and set them loose to run the affairs of the nation we can beat Muzansi hands down.

Mambo - 22 August 2013

nt tht i wnt 2 compare u wt e Messaih bt u indeed came lyk one wn our hopes wer drowning in abject poverty and our ears filled with the nude buzzing chorus of cholera burden flies, the real HERO who emerged from the medicore "zero to hero"fantasy policies of one confused "bull". I salute u great 1 my advice to you z the "Throne z for u 2 take o decline, aluta contí nua".

uhuru - 22 August 2013

You are My Hero. However, I don't think it was wise to bring the Constituency Development Fund. I wish this could be reversed! Iyezvino anenge atove madiro a Georgina!

heyi - 22 August 2013

We are worse off than we were in 2000 because of you Biti , just go to hell

Pike - 22 August 2013

thank u for the improvement you brought to our economy .lord willing one day u will be back in gvt

chinzo - 22 August 2013

wil mis your service to the nation. makakiyAkiya tikatambira USA mushure mekunge tapiwa mavoucher navaChinamasa gore riya(2009). job welldone wanachi.

eddie t - 22 August 2013

Thank you for job well done wish you the best in future, God s Blessings.

eddie - 22 August 2013

1 u drafted the bill for sancations and gave the americans and the british 2 u froze or gave close nothing to civil servants during yo term poor u 3 u froze nurses posts /vacancies only to unfreeze before the elections to diguise that u were making some employment oppotunities for these nurse who since 2009 were waiting to be employed and u expect people to support u like that my GOD

true matter - 22 August 2013

Forgot to say that your boss Tsvangs said , "Mugabe cannot rig the economy and that you are one of the architects of the sanctions against Zimbabwe. You will obviously be calling for more sanctions for obvious political reasons. We know the "easing of sanctions" during your tenure was because there was an MDC(T) finance minister and he needed to be supported so that the MDC(T) looks good in line with the regime change agenda. Do not sabotage the economy and you will see what ZANU(PF) is capable of.

muvengwa munondivengerei - 23 August 2013

Mr Biti I have nothing much to say the nation will always miss your sound economic policies ,you are a Hero

manasa - 23 August 2013

Mr Biti I have nothing much to say the nation will always miss your sound economic policies ,you are a Hero

manasa - 23 August 2013

Mr Biti I have nothing much to say the nation will always miss your sound economic policies ,you are a Hero

manasa - 23 August 2013

The future is bright. We shall enjoy our freedom

Jori - 23 August 2013

You did your best under a very desparate situation limited by resources and you are the best Finance minister the country has ever had. Thanks so much.

henri - 23 August 2013

Vada your advice is not necessary at this juncture keep it and give it to your kids if you have. For now we are just commending our Hero Mr Biti the outgoing finance minister for his hard work in turning around the finance ministry which was rotten & the economy at large for the benefit all Zimbabweans .Just imagine how Gideon Gono used abused reserve bank by printing paper money &dispatching his people to the streets to buy foreign currency from the poor people leaving them with worthless papers .Gono issued licence to sell basic goods in foreign currency to ZanuPf business people.I cant finsh there is a lot which my HERO MR BITI put to stop when he got into office , the economy itself was improving greatly no more empty shops

jona - 23 August 2013

One of the best Finance Ministers ever to emerge from Zimbabwe.Surely I will miss you Wanachi.You did your best.Very different from Murerwa and other notorius zanu pf ministers.God bless you,and wish you the best.

josefa chinotimba - 23 August 2013

wakamira mira Murume! Dai zvainzi kuvaka nyika zvemashuwa shuwa handiti dai maenderera mberi nebasa kuFinance Ministry ikoku! Manje mazanu ndoaziva, zvekuvaka nyika mutupo usingadyiwi kwavari...zvinovatoisa ani kuita finance minister. Ko nhayi vaBiti ko zvirikunzi nevemakuhwa panemachinja achapinda mucabinet ichokwadi here. Ini dayi izwi rangu richiteererwa ndaiti mukapiwa mabasa navasekuru gushungo kushandira nyika musaramba...Zimbabwe inyika yedu tose saka kana mwari achirikukupayi simba racho endererayi mberi mushandire nyika yedu.

TaTanga - 23 August 2013

Vada do not expose your ignorance in public. Dont you know that everything you do especially business is affected by the politics of the day. Because politics affects the economics of the day. do you that millionaire you are talking about would have become one in the socio-economic environment of 2008? Wise up. Dont be selfish poor politics is detrimental to everyone. Rise up Zimbabwe.

episai - 23 August 2013

Your heroic skills in navigating a sinking ship in 2008-2013 remain loud and clear in the minds of many.Your service at the highest office in the land are guranteed for you once a new political dispensation is created.Keep pushing comrade

matida matida - 23 August 2013

Biti is the man!!!! We love you sir, your works says a lot! you are very right Henry, he is Zim's best!!! @ true matter, the fact that you dont understand what finance is all about is a problem you have to swallow inside your bedroom. in the face of souring debt, being accumulated as far back as 1989, a sound policy was to avoid further accumulation of debt whilst paying the one accrued before so that service delivery continues. this is the reason why you didnt hear of any budget deficits and fiscus overexpenditure in his tenure. the past dull ministers eg Mumbengegwi..chinamasa..kuruneri..haaa!! We will miss you Wanachi, you are very level headed minister to be produced in this land.

tashi - 23 August 2013

I ma reminded of those utterances.."from zero to hero"...Coins picking from bins...sleeping in bank queues, "with immediate effect" rhetorics, "under 24 hour surveillance"...freezing of individual accounts, cash limits,...the list is endless from a rotten minds of a certain group. And you the wanachi took it all and wiped all our tears from these evil machinations...you saved many souls, we will forever remember the good works you did for this nation. One day you will be back in that office for the good work

finance student - 23 August 2013

When you came in office we once were not sure of our fate, but to tell you the truth, the ministry was slowly becoming irrelevant in ruuning the country's affairs. All we know is that everything was done from the RBZ and such. But you came and becam a very good captain and restored the lost legacy. We had confidence when you were in office, you would consult from us and them make assertions. You would stand by us and became a very strong pillar. We never knew such good leadership was coming from those who were said to be an unpatrotic party. You are a star Mr Biti!! We love you so much!!!!!!!! Wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you on behalf of the nation. You are the best Captain and leader in this country! love you Wanachi..one day...!!!!!!

ministry of Finance Employee - 23 August 2013

hie ...sir...thank yu so much for the job well done....?but one thing yu failed dissimalyn as a finance minister is allocating gvt grants to university students,,,,,i kindly beg yo successor in the same ministry to see us pliz ,,,,,makwikwi kuno

crgmusah - 23 August 2013

A living Hero like you will always be missed for the sterling work that you did over the years. You were hard but not difficult to work with man. One day you shall come back. The guess is that whoever is going to takeover the Finance Ministry is going to continue from where you left. ZIKOMO!!!!

Tafa - 23 August 2013

You are one in a million an asset to our nation and no one will match you ilk. You will be sadly missed.

ATZ - 23 August 2013

As i write this msg m holding back my tears, you made us realise our potential minister we hope one day with the will of God you will come back to the calling. If given the post in the new cabinet plz for the sake of the country accept with gratitude

Kevy - 23 August 2013

They blamed you for everything,from drought to laziness by the new farmers but I must say you remain one the mpost hardworking ,and authentic people ever to serve Govt.You did not go in to loot plubnder and cease under the name of indeginisation.You oiled otherwise a rust machine that was in state of decay.There was no Brainworks.

Squarebasher - 23 August 2013

NO, NO, NO. I refuse to give you my pat on the back. You should have known that you biggest assignment for entering the GNU was to win the elections. You failed. Makafanana nezvivana zvinongomhanyira kumai zvichichema kuti "Ndayohwa na Mugabe". Rigawo ka!

Munhu Chaiye - 23 August 2013

Good riddance to bad rubbish.It is time the finance ministry works for the people. you thought you could use your position as FM to frustrate the ZANU PF victory,but you failed.

manyenga - 23 August 2013

You could never be a miracle maker hence it can never be disputed that you did the best you could and thats more than enough. Despite the constant trials by academics and economists our government has never listened to the voice of reason. You were level headed unlike many who have assumed that post. For a fact, intelligence may be abundant but the gift to use it is very rare. Mr Biti i salute you>

kkm - 23 August 2013

Good riddance and you should not expect to get a ministerial post in the new cabinet considering you vulgar words and defecating in the refrigerator.In the mean time run around for the court case where you have been sued for 5 million for your idiotic accusations against Mutasa.

reason - 23 August 2013

may the lord make sure that this lawyer guy is restricted to court cases not accounting books. what a waste of our positions

mustard - 23 August 2013

reason and mustard are just but empty vessels!!! that wont take away anything from the intellect Biti-Zim's greatest!!!

finance student - 23 August 2013

A great statemen. You stood above the rest. You are a shining beacon and we will forever cherish your good works as FM. May the Almighty keep you in his safe hands. We love you

greys - 23 August 2013

We salute your great works sir...munoziva basa renyu. one day we will celebrate again your work when you will be serving this country again. we miss you!

loveness - 24 August 2013

THANKS SO MUCH FOR WORKING VERY HARD FOR YOUR MOTHERLAND, YOU ARE A LIVING STAR!!!

zulu - 24 August 2013

Very ironic. The archtect of sanctions against the country now the hero......you insult my intellect

Nikuv - 24 August 2013

Just try to be humble and realistic. Arrogance will not take you anywhere Tendai. You could never put yourself anywhere in the political wilderness

Choakuti - 24 August 2013

Well done Tendayi. U did yo part. Those who think u refused them salary increaments have already received them now and not next year. The nurses posts, according to small minds, were your decision and not cabinet chaired by Mugabe. Very soon, true and patriotic Zimbos will miss yu even more. Lets see what the new guy(s) will bring (THIS YEAR). Watch this space. Thank yu.

kiyoro kiyoro - 24 August 2013

Thanks biti,chinamasa akange ati u.s vouchercould not be reedemable for cash hanzi tongondotenga nevoucher hatipiwi even change.Iozvino zvevanhu vanoda kutonga vega vachiba chete uye vasina solution yokupedza matambudziko evanhu zvichavanetsa pamberi apo nokuti hapana anozombomira nevanhu vakadaro kunyange akamanikidzwa kana kutyityidzirwa zvakaita sei.

SAUNGWEME - 24 August 2013

Well done Tendai, you stood your ground and l loved your stance as a minister than just to accept anything that comes without giving it your thought. Well done once again, and l would personally love to see you come back. Our economic policies were almost making sense during your presence, but well, we will watch from the terraces and see the new tricks. Children of Zimbabwe, lets move forward and develop our nation!

Kauchy - 26 August 2013

I have run out of words to describe this man. The truth is we had all lost hope (national leaders included) but you restored it without condition, you became our savior. Most of our once productive time was being spent qeueing in banks for worthless bond paper decorated sheets and non existent basic goods at supermarket doors but your arrival at the finance ministry marked a new begining and restored the once lost glory. I can spend the whole day listing the good works you offered to the people of Zimbabwe despite the jeering, insults, name calling, unsubstantiated accusations, etc by your enemies. The bottom line is , you are a true hero by any standard one may ever think of. May the good Lord reward you abundantly and give you more wisdom, we still need you to run Zim finances. GOD BLESS!!

Gudo - 26 August 2013

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