Biti breathes fire

via Biti breathes fire – DailyNews Live by Kudzai Chawafambira  24 JANUARY 2014

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.

 

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14 comments on “Biti breathes fire
  1. spiralx says:

    Welcome to the Zimbabwe version of, well, Rhodesia’s economic UDI.

  2. In the past a lot of us have questioned South Africa’s laid back attitude to the situation in Zimbabwe. Biti is correct to say that we have suddenly become a large supermarket for a well functioning economy like South Africa. Zambia as well has benefited from Zimbabwe’s ailment. As long as Zimbabwe sleeps these countries benefit. South Africa knows that the nearest routes to the sea for Zimbabwe are via Mozambique. So if Zimbabwe were to awake and start producing and Mozambique has stabilization that would give Zimbabwe direct alternatives to the sea. This game is clear to see but Zanu are too busy trying to dismantle the opposition and looting to see the international implications of their actions. D

  3. In the past a lot of us have questioned South Africa’s laid back attitude to the situation in Zimbabwe. Biti is correct to say that we have suddenly become a large supermarket for a well functioning economy like South Africa. Zambia as well has benefited from Zimbabwe’s ailment. As long as Zimbabwe sleeps these countries benefit. South Africa knows that the nearest routes to the sea for Zimbabwe are via Mozambique. So if Zimbabwe were to awake and start producing and Mozambique has stabilization that would give Zimbabwe direct alternatives to the sea. This game is clear to see but Zanu are too busy trying to dismantle the opposition and looting to see the international implications of their actions. Don’t be fooled that South Africa does not want Zimbabweans there. They do, but only the skilled ones. If Zimbabwe were to start working again South Africa would be compromised where it came to skilled workers because they would most probably come home. Botswana made good use of Zimbabwean skilled workers during the 80′s into the 2000′s and a lot are still there and scattered all over the world waiting for a sleeping giant to awake from it’s slumber.

  4. Tjingababili says:

    COLD FIRE!

  5. Nyoni says:

    I worked in South Africa and know full well how they envy us. Its a love hate relationship. IF Zanu and the rest of the clowns could pull their heads out from you know where Zimbabwe would be a powerhouse of Africa. Better still imagine if South Africa and Zimbabwe were to partner as one .IMAGINE IMAGINE.

  6. Sekuru Mapenga says:

    Biti is right. Zanu PF do not manage our money with national interest in mind. They only think of filling up their own pockets. So they give $236 million to the President’s office and Cuthbert Dube has a salary of $250,000- per month.
    This approach to Government spending means that there is no money left in the economy and so our factories and businesses close down because people have no money to spend. and we become poorer every year.

  7. Gondobwe says:

    Zanu PF has been impervious to reason for 33 years! There is no longer the spirit of common good in government. It looks like the common policy of government is now ‘each man for himself and God for us all’.

  8. Chatunga says:

    I pray God take these vampires to the kingdom of Lucifer

  9. Ndebvu Mukomichi says:

    Me thinks Biti protests too much.
    This is the man who as Min of Finance said that Zim has only $217, knowing full well that the country had made millions during the short time he was making his scare-mongering statement. Fot this reason he and his party should be kept as far from the seat of power as possible, and it appears, looking at the July 2013 election results that many voting Zimbos feel the same.

    There are more level-headed political players in Biti’s party who could improve the party’s electoral performance in the future. Some of these potential leaders are the guys who as executive mayors administered very successful councils in the past, while working with a ZPF govt.

    Biti seems to excell in words and not deeds- he is a rough, (not even smooth) talker who needs to settle down before he can rise again politically. The late EM Zvobgo used to describe Biti’s type as those who ‘generate a lot of heat and smoke but no light’.

    • Tiger Shona says:

      Ndebvu, Biti’s popularity and accurate comments obviously worries you.
      One of the looters??

    • Kevin Watson says:

      You are a complete economic illiterate. You do not even understand the difference between cash flow and bank balance. In fact you Mugabe and Chinamasa couldn’t run a school tuckshop successfully. Bearing in mind that the elections were rigged and the results stolen so that ZANU PF can try and steal whats left before the whole edifice collapses.

  10. Joboringo says:

    Still all these are words not action,until something is done they continue filling their pockets later flew building their revenues out

  11. Back to the stone age soon we wear monkey skins eat leaves while chiyangwa kaukonde fornication with girl child

  12. Ndebvu,
    Yaah, you are afraid of the truth. That former minister of finance was never a minister for his party as a ruling party…but a minister under a unity gov.

    If they were alone, I know a lot of improvement could have taken place in our economy.

    Interesting views. I enjoy them.

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