via Biti to govt: Reform or face upheaval – NewZimbabwe 29/06/2015
ZIMBABWE must urgently come up with a plan to “reverse” the current economic haemorrhage, or risk social upheaval, MDC-Renewal Team secretary general Tendai Biti has said.
The former Finance Minister told his party’s district meeting in Kwekwe that government needed to find solutions rather than fight informal traders.
“Zimbabweans are now the scatterlings of the world because companies closed resulting in massive job losses.
“No less than 5 million people, who have left the country, were forced out by Zanu PF’s ignorant celebration of the in-formalisation of the economy.
“Reversing the tide of De-industrialisation is a must that is why we continue to demand that Zanu PF must accept failure and allow the nation to set up a National Technical Transitional Council (NTTC) to stop the economy from bleeding,” Biti said.
With government having issued an ultimatum to vendors in the country’s towns and cities to vacate their stalls by last Friday which was largely ignored, fears abound that the police and the army will be called in to institute forced removals, although defence Minister Sidney Sekeramayi has denied this.
“We are now making vending a virtue which it is not. 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,” Biti said.
Biti said Kwekwe, the Midlands province’s former industrial hub, has also been turned into a city of vendors.
“Most of the mines and the steel industries that used to be the backbone not only of the province but also the country are pale shadows of their former selves turning this once beautiful city into a ghost town.
“It is criminal and the government led by President Robert Mugabe must shoulder the blame and accept that they are a bunch of failures,” the former treasury chief said, adding that Zanu PF’s much vaunted economic blue-print ZimAsset was a “monumental failure before it has even gotten off the ground”.
Biti called on the government to revisit the land reform program in order to realign capacity of individuals to the size of land they get.
“The whole idea must be about productivity; that is why you need to ensure that the number of hectares per family are around 20.
“The world over the whole idea of an individual occupying a thousand hectares only saves to create idle land unless if the estate is under a large scale corporation like Delta,” he said.
Biti said title deeds “are key in that they will ensure individuals have the capacity to borrow money from the banks and capitalise their farming operation”.