Biti breathes fire

HARARE - Zimbabwe remains caught up in a crisis that is weighing down heavily on economic turnaround efforts, former Finance minister Tendai Biti has said.

Out of the $4 billion national budget presented last month, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa indicated that $3,5 billion would go towards recurrent expenditure, crowding out industry and other key economic sectors.

The budget has largely failed to inspire confidence and Chinamasa admitted it was policy-based and grossly short on funding.

“There is no doubt that our country is mired in a crisis,” Biti told the National Assembly yesterday.

“There is a crisis of expectation and confidence. Out there, our people expect government to do at least something. As we speak right now there are around 2,3 million people that have to be fed, so the crisis of expectation is huge.”

The Harare East legislator, who is the opposition MDC shadow minister of finance, said there was doubt that those in control have the solutions and can address the fundamental problems that are confronting the country.

“When a country is mired in the kind of political and socio-economic problems that is affecting our country, it’s important for the country to provide leadership,” he said.

The former Finance minister noted that there were a number of structural binds that include lack of capital, deindustrialisation and a huge debt overhang among other constraints that were hindering economic recovery.

“This country requires capital in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI),” Biti said.

“It requires capital in the form of overseas development assistance. The majority of the industrial sectors across Zimbabwe have become ghost industries.

We cannot celebrate the birth of what he (Chinamasa) described as a new economy. We cannot celebrate the return to the existence of subsistence industry which occurred before the industrial revolution.”

Biti noted the country was not producing enough as most products available in retail outlets were imports and that the country was still mired in debt.

“We have suddenly become a large supermarket for a well functioning economy like South Africa,” he said.

“Moreover, we have decayed infrastructure. The country is suffering from a debt overhang.

There is a total ignorance of amounts owed to parastatals and other non-governmental organisations.

Therefore the correct figure of debt that Zimbabwe is facing is around $10,1 billion.”

This comes as Chinamasa acknowledged that the country was saddled with a high debt overhang resulting in limited and highly priced lines of credit.

Comments (26)

Why did he not sort out the mess when he was finance minister

peter mayor - 24 January 2014

ndiye wakatombostabiliser zvinhu. ishasha iyi.

mukadota - 24 January 2014

Peter, there was no money. In ZanuPF we thot diamonds were our open cheque but now we are told diamonds are now finished. Peter we are in real trouble. Tiri vamwe, let's agree that we need every Zimbo to turn things around.

Tindo - 24 January 2014

vatete - 24 January 2014

Tindo you have spoken like a grown up. Its not an issue of saying this or that person was supposed to have done it but its a question of fighting together for the good of the country. What Biti is saying is the truth that we have to face. Zanu PF promised us that it has the keys to unlock the value in the diamonds and move our economy which is why we accepted being NIKUVED otherwise we could have used guns to fight them. Can Minister Chinamasa sought this mess out for us; at least for the sake of our children because already our generation has been killed.

Exiled - 24 January 2014

Nhai vana veZimbabwe zvamauraya nyika madebate haapere. Saka fundo yose iyo nemadhigiri enyu zvatadza kugadzirisa nyika pamusaka pehuori nekuda hukuru. Mwari pindirai

Chipo - 24 January 2014

" The challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude, be kind,but not weak, be bold, but not bully: be thoughtful, but not lazy: be humble, but not timid: be proud, but not arrogant: have humor, but without folly- Jim Ro

SHAVA - 24 January 2014

Thank you for trying to comment mr Peter Mayor. What i would like to share with you is a simple tip on co-leadership. I hope you will understand it for it is a basic principle. It goes like this " Co-leadership should permeate every organization at every level" True leadership must have follower-ship. Management styles can vary, but even an autocrat needs people who believe and don't follow from fear. Biti is a strong man by any definition or standards. He wrestled The ZANU-PF mafia all the time. And people like my friend Peter never understood what he was saying.Now you will start to see what he meant. As things get worse all the time we will re-examine ourselves.

SHAVA - 24 January 2014

Some simpletons read the papers that is for sure! Biti cannot undo what Zanu PF had done when their policies could never be changed. As he says the answer is staring them in the face but they will not reverse their theft and grab policies under cover of indigenisation and land distribution hence we will go faster into the abyss while the world watches fascinated at the stupidity of the nations so called leaders!

Sabi - 24 January 2014

The huge debt overhang is not a product of GNU No ..No.. Gono actually noted that over 80% debts were accumulated before his time as Governor and you keep on saying why didnt he sort out the mess in his time! I am not defending anyone all i am doing is just illustrate a simple fact.. How can 3.5 billion go to recurrent expenditure it means only 5 00 million is available for new projects wonder there is massive deindustrialization.. Salaries and Wages are not goin to increase much this year..i am not being sceptical but this comes out given the budget..

tindo - 24 January 2014

there is a problem you have people who are good narrating problems. its better to have people who are good at providing solutions than those that shout about what everybody knows. we all know what we have been thru and it doesnt help to have people who specialize in reminding us everyday and night. give us your ideas honorable mp. we vote you in so that you participate in building the nation. yes we are struggling, so what? do not remind us of what we know tell us what you think can make us go forward. im beginning to doubt your competence. U ALSO HAVE NO IDEA HW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS

freeman - 24 January 2014

Freeman usataure kunge wakaruma dombo.ZPF vanozviita vanoziva too much.Ngavagadzirise maproblem ayo.

PMK - 24 January 2014

Peter Mayor and Freeman speak like they are riding on an Elephant while the ground appears to be too far, cant you see the facts! How can you so practice such gross dysfunction and incompetence in your analysis. Biti tried his best under circumstances. He is right to speak the truth and why are you appearing like you want to hide something that people already know. Zimbabwe must not be sacrificed for the benefit of a few. These ZANU people must walk the talk. That Biti is now out of government what solution do you want him to provide which he was DENIED during the co-government? Is he still blocking the government from awarding civil servants a meaningful increment? Where are our diamonds?

Regalia - 24 January 2014

End of Robert Mugabe The current president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe will die on Monday, the 3rd of February 2014. Actually I had a dream on the 20th of January 2014 that Mugabe will die on his sleep. This death will not result from poisoning, gun shot, physical strangling basically there will be no foul play and it will be strictly natural death. This prophecy concludes that Mugabe will demise as a result of natural causes. Advice Since I am publishing this article to various organisations, individual people, press houses, other social media, I strongly advise the interested people to take precautionary measures. Those who are very close to him should maintain vigilance and avoid suspicious conducts which will invite unnecessary scrutiny after Mugabe's death. I suggest that members of the Zimbabwe National Army, CIO, CID and the Police must maintain a round the clock security around him to avoid not just misrepresentation also for the assurance of the Zimbabwean people and the whole world of accurate occurrence of that event. I'm of the opinion that, to put him in solitary confinement on the very day will not be an ideal situation since he will be obviously close to his wife and other family members. Ndini; Tichatonga Mambo (Zimbabwean)

Tichatonga Mambo - 24 January 2014

freeman and peter must be from zanuland, we whr made to believe that biti was the stumbling block in awarding a living wage to the civil servants now its 6 months since the nikuved elections, whats do we get instead????? pocket money, $54 while they are earning $250 000 per month.......... u can rig elections but not the economy!

tongai tione - 24 January 2014

everyone knows that the economy stabilised during Tendai Biti's tenure as Finance Minister. then , there was hope, now despondency rules....

snowden - 25 January 2014

"We have suddenly become a South African supermarket..?" Who led the charge to turn us into a supermarket except he who was the Minister of Finance during the advent of the US dollar era? Could it that we have two who promoted this openning of the supermarket and the other one criticizing it now and wants it closed?

gutter poet - 25 January 2014

whether you want it or not, there is no other truth other than what T Biti is saying. the 'we will go it alone attittude has failed and will never take us anywhere. this language was said in 2000 and it sent us to the dustbin . our economy disappeared to say the least, our currency died, and we are now being misled to believe that china will do miracles with our economy. lets agree to differ but working together.

bhekincu - 25 January 2014

Tichatonga mambo, izvi zvawataura hauzonyara here to find out on the 21 of feb kamudahara kachidovaira pa birthday rako.? Many would love to hear zviporofita zvakadaro, asi zvisingangovi zviroto zviroto? Tichagoona.

chipazhamongo - 26 January 2014

Guys kani, indava kutambura nezvisina basa. The honest truth muzimbabwe haabatsire ansd haabatsirike. If you doubt it look around you.... even at yourself. You are hiding behind you bogus email address, afraid to come out in the open, and start telling us you are one of the wisemen from the east! Poh! That event only happened once! And while you are hiding behind that facade, the mine shafts are getting deeper into the placenta of Mother Zimbabwe, devouring all the embryos therein! If you dont have the guts shut up and let those you accuse of stealing the country's riches do so in peace!

Overman Sanatorium - 26 January 2014

Gore Rino!!! - 26 January 2014

The truth of the matter is we are going back to 2008. if people are not able to cast their eyes properly, they are going to be cought by surprise. many companies are failing to open as a result of our economy.

bob - 27 January 2014

This mbiti guy was drunk to the extent of falling off an armchair seat before he gave the speech, much to the shock of the audience, and this papers simply report on his hogwash without even mentioning that. OOH be serious, could it be that the reporter was drunk also?

reason - 27 January 2014

I thought reason means something sane. Anyway let us forget about reason and lets talk sense. What Biti is simply telling us is we need to shape up as a country, grandstanding does not work, agriculture is not a success as we are told else we could be exporting maize, wheat, cotton and other grains. Mines are collapsing and Chiyadzwa diamonds are finished with nothing to show of them except Mbada Diamond cup, our road infrastructure has overtaken the laughing stock of Mozambique and Zambia we used to know, the health sector is in shambles, zanupf appointed CEos are milking parastals at will, minister are busy in courts with divorce cases, so tell me is this a functioning country. Mai Mjuru wants provincial ministers to present the discredited ZIMASSET a non-working document like Vison 2020, and other pelathora of policy documents gathering dust somewhere in this tea pot country. A country blesssed with people good at debate but poor at practicals, no psychomotor behaviour.

Maita Manyuka - 27 January 2014

Gutter poet is gutter poet zvemashuwa. He did not turn the country into that because it is not an overnight process, it styarted well back when industry went down and there were no local goods in our supermarkets and no manufaturing taking place because the so-called gorilla aka guerillas had destroyed the country. He wanted local industry to survive but maida kumuroiva ati hatichada ma second hand nduwe pa market.

Maita Manyuka - 27 January 2014

A! Gushungo makamboedza wani? Kwedu isu madhara ekwedu havachangomiremire panyaya dzemusha. Unonzwa vachiti , "Siyai vakomana vatonge." Asi hativarase vana Sorojena vedu. Kana tapererwa tinodzokera kwavari kunopangwa. Kana toda kubayana muziso vanotidzivisa. Respect yavo vanofa vainayo nekuti they know when to rest. Apa tiri kureva madhara in their sixties . Zvino izvi zvenyu Gushungo zvatigura kunorira. Inga makange mambouvaka musha uyu zvakanaka? Zvino moda kuuparadza megazve? Siyai vana vatonge nhau dzana tsano. Imi garirai kure mugoona kuti musha haubudirire here? Headmaster vangu vandaida zvikuru vakasiya basa vavika 65 years. Takadochema zvikadii asi hurumende yakange yatonga. Asi headmaster ava vachiri kubetsera munhau dzechikoro sa advisor ku School Development Committee. Pakadii apo?

J. Wechokwadichoga - 29 January 2014

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