BULAWAYO - Former Finance minister Tendai Biti has accused President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF of crimes against humanity in its three decades-plus rule.
Biti, who was the guest of honour here on Monday at the on-going Africa Day roundtable organised by Bulawayo Agenda, said Zanu PF had a case to answer.
“Zanu PF must be held accountable for the crimes against humanity that they have committed against the people of Zimbabwe,” Biti said.
“This is not populism. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Three generations, we are churning out 300 000 graduates every year, where are they? They are waiters in South Africa and others are cleaning old women in the United Kingdom. Someone must be surely held to account.”
Asked whether he felt pity for his successor Patrick Chinamasa who appears to be struggling to bring sanity to the country’s dire financial situation, Biti said: “I don’t feel pity for a group of people who actually spend every day planning for the lot of Africans to suffer more. You hear politburo meetings lasted 12 hours, (President Robert) Mugabe went home to sleep at 3am discussing no development, no jobs but how to fire the Gamatox and no progress.”
The former mainstream MDC secretary general, who now leads the splinter MDC Renewal Team, said Zanu PF was clueless on how to turn around the fortunes of Zimbabwe.
He accused the former liberation party for having warped priorities.
“Zanu PF’s problem is ‘fiscalitis’ — the disease that assumes that money grows on trees. They spend and spend oblivious of where the money comes from. The supply side of the economy is dead. Why? Because they have killed the production sector through wrong policies, that of intimidation, like the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act.”
He said while generally other countries had similar policies, it was the high level of mistrust that has seen many foreign investors rather preferring to stay away from Zimbabwe.
Biti said Zimbabwe was one of the three countries in Africa that had unsustainable debt levels. He added that others were Sudan and Somalia in a clear sign of deliberate economic mismanagement by their leaders.
“Disappointingly, the greater part of the debt was an odious debt, meaning the money spent buying arms, tear gas and used to oppress and repress people,” Biti said.
The former Finance minister, who recently spent a month at one of America’s top independent think tanks, accused Zanu PF of investing in wrong things at the expense of what he termed thought leadership.
“Part of the reason why we are where we are now is because we don’t invest in thought leadership,” he said.
“As if that is not enough, we also celebrate foolish people, our heroes are the (Philip) Chiyangwas of this world, when talking of young Turks you talk about the (Saviour) Kasukuweres, idiots.
“We celebrate tomfoolery, we don’t celebrate thought leadership.”
He insisted that Zimbabwe had “very sharp people” who can take Zimbabwe forward.