Biti's 'Eat what you kill' cliche vindicated

HARARE - When Tendai Biti was minister of Finance in the coalition government, he became the pantomime villain of Zanu PF, accused of withholding funds in order to sabotage the party’s programmes.

President Mugabe would condemn his Finance minister in public as people realised the folly of ascribing “unity” to a government that was anything but united.

On the back of a plethora of pledges, Mugabe and his party won the subsequent election, albeit in controversial circumstances.

Biti and his party have since retreated into opposition once more.

With election gimmicks now over, the Zanu PF government has now been faced with the brute realties of governance.

“Tongai tione” (Let’s see you govern), the MDC said resignedly after the electoral defeat.

It’s a remark laden with sarcasm whose basis is now clear for everyone to see.

Evidence presented to the portfolio committees in Parliament by official after official last week has vindicated Biti’s famous or infamous phrase — depending on one’s political inclination — that “you eat what you kill”.

Of course, Zanu PF detested this salutary symbolism regardless of the obvious truth it holds.

It is the tendency in our shabby politics that if you can’t contest truth, you direct the barrel at the person.

Patrick Chinamasa, a Zanu PF minister, has since taken over the Finance portfolio and presented a US$4,1 billion budget in December.

The post-budget evidence from ministry officials before portfolio committees last week validated Biti’s symbolism.

Francis Gudyanga, Mines permanent secretary, said his ministry was allocated only $8,6 million, most of which would go to salaries.

His ministry got $976 000 for its operations out of a requested US$28,79 million.

Next, the secretary for Agriculture Ringson Chitsiko. His ministry’s allocation of $155,2 million — way below the requested $490,5 million, he said.

“The agriculture sector has had its fair share of decline and what we are doing is to try and resuscitate it so that according to the expectation of ZimAsset and the public, we will be able to achieve that,” he said.

Albert Mandizha, GMB general manager, said they asked for $355 million to boost the strategic grain reserve only to receive $96 million.

Sam Malaba, the Agribank CEO, said out of a request of $50 million to recapitalise their operations, they got a paltry $4 million.

Agricultural Rural Development Authority (Arda) and the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) did not receive funding at all. It was like a symphony of misery.

The agricultural sector is vital to Zanu PF’s political economy.

Biti was accused of withholding support to “new farmers”.

However, Chinamasa couldn’t  provide funds to support the sector either.

Will Mugabe now accuse Chinamasa of stifling Zanu PF programmes?

It is deja vu, only that the man in charge of finance is one of his own.

But the symphony did not end here. Enter, Sydney Mhishi, from the department of Social Services Sydney Mhishi with something more relevant to real or practical “eating.”

The money disbursed to his ministry was only enough to buy 2 600 metric tonnes of grain against a monthly requirement of 10 000 tonnes.

And quite concerning, thousands of children risk being denied education.

The $15 million allocated will only assist 83 000 go to school under BEAM against the targeted 250 000 vulnerable children, Mhishi told the portfolio committee.

It is all depressing.

We will recall that Mugabe raised the hopes of civil servants, promising that the Zanu PF government would increase salaries of the 230 000 workers.

Again he imputed Biti and the MDC were blocking his party’s benevolent intentions for the workers — only to offer the civil servants a measly $79 last week.

The simple truth Biti was conveying through his crude symbolism is that we are not generating enough revenue to sustain our needs as a country.

Evidence from Zanu PF itself has shown he was and is right. Zanu PF must now address the problems so that this nation can “eat” again.

Comments (15)

(The simple truth Biti was conveying through his crude symbolism is that we are not generating enough revenue to sustain our needs as a country.)-But Mr C.Dube is/has been earning US$250 000 from PSMAS,US$...000 from Zifa,US$...000 from ZBC e.t.c in the same country.

George - 22 January 2014


wan anchii - 22 January 2014


tobias - 22 January 2014

Tongai tione.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 22 January 2014

Biti has always acted sober and honestly. ZANU is proving that their election manifesto was another foolery for a more than twelve million people including themselves. YES they fooled even themselves time will tell!

Regalia - 22 January 2014

Eat what you k here, easily:

Bojeni - 23 January 2014

PSMAS subscribers will happy to know that their hard earned cash has been used to buy a building in Beitbridge that has remained unused for the past two years! Earning no revenue just getting dilapidated by the day!

Bojeni - 23 January 2014

Kill easily and eat well here :

bojeni - 23 January 2014

I was given 24 hours to resign from PSMI because I had questioned their modus operandi. The reason why they can buy a building and let it rot without realising a return is because PSMAS managers make more money from inflating prices of real estate. For that reason they end up buying even buildings they don't need. A case in point is the purchase of the Medical centre building on Baines Avenue. Is real Estate their core business?

EX-PSMAS WORKER - 23 January 2014

Things were better when he was a Minister of Finance but if he was a National Chairman of Mdc-t or organiser it would have won resoundly.Mutare yakutotanga kutinira ichiti Biti paNational Chairman Sipepa Nkomo VP For the sake of progress and transparancy in the part and nation

MUTARE - 23 January 2014

Nyama inonaka inotaura yega ,vanogona vanogona ,ichokwadi takasimuka tiine mbwende ,direction less and leadership yakadhakwa,hu chairman hwa Lovemore Moyo ummmmm hezvoko bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Chinja.Biti anogona zvake ,zvabatana na Chamisa ,Sipepa nokoko hokoyo ,ichanakidza Chinja iyi ,zvavana Mudzuri haiwavo kkkkk wakatadza Chombo ko kuzoti va Mugabe ungavagona iwe kkkkk ibvapo kuda kutiurayira musangano

sinyoro - 23 January 2014

I recently as November some Zanoid MP said "this guy was not funding agriculture .." meaning Biti. So "Tongai tione", fund agriculture yacho now that you have absolute power

Tongai Tione - 23 January 2014

Youths r facing nepotism in Zanu pf being elbowed by Sikhosana who is 65years and is called youth secreatery same as wht is happening in MDC-T in Matebeleland youths r used like condoms after use thrown away ths time and next congress those who thnks thy own Chinja and have declared tht thy formed it by thr own hands we r going to replace them coz we wre the first ones to vote for MDC-T with our own hands as Mutare has begun we r following pesuit National Chairman Biti and VP Sipepa Nkomo coz ths whm have mantioned

YOUTH @BYO - 24 January 2014

vatete - 24 January 2014

I am confused, and pretty much out of ideas. What marginalised ZANU into gun violence then in 1963? was it impatience? was it bloodthirstiness? I fully fear and dislike war, especially kaffir vs kaffir types like Angola, Mozambique, CAR, South Sudan, Somalia. No! an emphatic NO!. But until when are we gonna carry this yoke and be practically discouraged from serious investment in the fatherland. Even their business do not prosper. They perform shifts on our suffering, this time chikowore, mpofu, chimutenwende, chombo, siphoning wealth from state entities with impunity, and accumulating obscene amounts, letting the police individuals and customs personnel loose on poor travellers and cross border traders, and employing a partisan state intelligence and military framework to silence descent. We are well aware a formula exists in ZANU-PF's realm to deal with MDC,s Tsvangirai, Chimanikire, Learnmore Jongwe, Mutambara, Ncube, Kagoro, or Raftopoulos, or even Gezi, collectively or individually or in any permutation or algebraic transformation. We all know this. So my question is, are gonna be essentially visitors to our country, perpetually sad visitors, who complain of poor quality canteens, poor public transport, a brocken down health delivery system, a government without an agenda, a capital of typhoid fever and cholera like there isn't HIV/AIDs, and evil and baddebtor GMB liable to all its stakeholders except its CEO. Till when Zimbabweans? Is it necessary to vote? And when at home we project the false image of being out of poverty. Till when? Are we not being denied space to exercise without hindrance the right to labour in pursuit of happiness, collectively or individually, in family, village, religious or political groupings within the provisions of the law. Are we not in practically the same situation as was with the liberation movements ZANU, ZAPU, etc pre1963 august? Not that we go to war, but just to ask: What? then.

maombo david - 6 February 2014

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