HARARE - Reversing the tide of Zimbabwe’s rapid de-industrialisation is now an urgent imperative demanding that President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF accepts failure and allow the set up of a National Technical Transitional Council (NTTC) to staunch the economic haemorrhage, former Finance minister Tendai Biti has said.
“We are now making vending a virtue which it is not,” Biti said.
“What we need is an entire new matrix of the economic direction and vision in this country.
“How do we re-industrialise, how do we give people formal jobs; because a vendor does not want to sell tomatoes. Zimbabweans are now scattered all over the world because of rapid de-industrialisation that has caused unprecedented job losses,” Biti said.
The MDC Renewal Team secretary-general told a district structures meeting in Mbizo, Kwekwe last weekend that five million Zimbabweans have left the country to look for jobs elsewhere. He blasted Zanu PF’s “ignorant celebration of the informalisation of the economy.”
He said Kwekwe was formerly the industrial hub of the nation but was now a wasteland.
Accompanied by the renewal team leaders Lucia Matibenga and Settlement Chikwinya, Biti told the meeting that the whole package of Zanu PF policies, including the ZimAsset blueprint, have failed dismally, causing untold suffering to Zimbabweans.
Speaking on the Mugabe administration’s drive to remove 4 000 white farmers off their land without compensation that has spawned a growing humanitarian crisis, Biti said the land reform was supposed to emphasise productivity.
“The idea must be about productivity that is why you need to ensure the number of hectares for a family is around 20,” he said.
“The world over, the whole idea of an individual occupying a thousand hectares only serves to create idle land unless if the estate is under a large-scale corporation like Delta.”
He said title deeds were key in ensuring that individuals have the capacity to borrow money from banks and capitalise their farming operation.
He said agriculture is key to resuscitating the agro-based industry.