Leadership deficit cause for current economic crisis – Tendai Biti

via Leadership deficit cause for current economic crisis | The Zimbabwe Mail By Tendai Biti 28 February 2014

THE sterile year that is 2014 continues to reveal its ugly armpits and their vociferous odor while pain continues to stalk the nation like a ghost.

We argued that the 2013 Growth Rate would not exceed 1.6 % now preliminary data from non other than the World Bank is indicating a figure of 1.8 % ,at a time when average Sub Saharan growth was for the same year was 4.7 %.

Agriculture continues to shrink, recording a 1.3 % contraction in 2013 reducing its overall contribution to GDP growth rate to 12.4 %.

As the Government prepares the first crop assessment report for 2014, it will be surprising if 2014 will be any better.

The good rains raided an ill prepared citizen ,a citizen whose creativity was doused by years of corrosive dependence AND agricultural policies that have killed the hunger and strength of the peasant farmer.

It is not so long ago that sixty percent of total maize output was produced by the peasant farmer on an impressive average yield of 4 tons per hectare.

The golden goose that is the mining sector scored no better.Whilst platinum production increased by 24% to 13066 kg this was met with depressed international prices.At the same time gold production sank by 5 % to record a disappointing 14 065 kg.

On the other hand manufacturing continues to decline with the resultant massive levels of de-industrialisation. Its growth in 2013 was a mere 2.1 % whilst its expected to grow by a mere 1,9 % in 2014.

A cursory look at our figures shows a return to those horrible years of fiscal ill-discipline,macroeconomic disequilibrium and total economic mis-management.

Three things are indicative of the country s return to crises economics or more aptly zombie economics

First is the departure from the pursuit of a balanced budget.

With revenues collapsing by at a rate of 5 % per month ,expenditure control must be the immediate response.

Instead ,the beast of “fiscalites “has been awoken and recurrent expenditure is now gobbling up 88 % of income.Of this amount 67 % went to employment costs in 2013.

Arrears are accumulating exponentially and for the first time in many years Government had a budget deficit of $ 246 million representing 1,9 % of GDP.

As argued previously, it this return of the gladiator known as the budget deficit that will guarantee the return of the Zimbabwean dollar. For one or the other, it has to be monetized.

Second is the clear shift of the economy from production to consumption. Despite the fall in aggregate demand, the economy has shifted to consumption.

That the services industry in 2013 contributed 56.3 % of GDP is reflective of this structural imbalance in the economy.

That consumption itself was 117 % of GDP is reflective of this cancer.

More importantly is the fact of a sad external position reflecting a current account deficit of 22 % of GDP.

Third is the self evident capital flight and disinvestment from this economy. In August alone following the election debacle more than a billion dollars was wiped off the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

As it is the current market capitalization of the local bourse is a mere $4.9 billion.

Equally the banking sector suffered the shock of massive bank runs with more money now thought to be under pillows and mattresses than in brick and mortar buildings.

The levels of company closures and company re-locations is frightening.

The situation remains anemic and desperate.

A return to basics is called for. A return to common sense is called for. A return to the fair and compassionate economy is indeed an imperator.

More importantly a return to national dialogue, legitimacy and action is the only way forward.

The reality is that if Zimbabwe was a private company it would have been placed into liquidation or judicial management.

In its present form this a country that requires sovereign curatorship.

Those in charge have failed .

The crises of leadership is one that is at the epicenter of the national crises. One which regrettably is affecting every fibre and aorta of Zimbabwean society.

Where there is leadership failure ,there is no vision ,no planning but collapse and fatigue.

Nationalism is exhausted and far too crippled to deal with the current crises and its multi-layered complexities.

They do not know the problem so they can not know the solution.

But equally democratic forces, in the church, in civic society, in business in Unions, and in political parties are equally paralyzed clueless and exhausted.

They have been scratched and found wanting. Huge layers of mascara have been washed away and the brides maids are impostors.

To lead is to walk the difficult path, answer the difficult questions and to confront the message rather than kill the messenger.

To lead is to inspire, to give hope, to lead by example, to fall and rise with dignity.

To lead is to unite, to dialogue, to trust, to listen, to forgive and to tolerate.

To lead is to be firm, stern, brutal but fair, resolute and just.

Above all to lead is just to have love. That love as defined Paul in the Corinthians.Others may call it solidarity or camaraderie. In my book, call it love. Just pure undiluted love.

Leaders dream and sale their dreams.Those dreams are called hope.Ultimately great leaders of the day, the Mahtmas, the Mandelas, the Lincoln’s of this world are great peddlers of hope.

Robert F Kennedy was a great dreamer. He once stated

‘ There are those who look at things the way they are and ask why…
I dream of things that never were and ask why not..’

Why not to a new Zimbabwe, a great Zimbabwe with growth of 15 % per annum that will win the World Cup in our life time.

The thing is this a country so torn with conflict pain and predatoriness.It stopped dreaming a long time ago.

The thing is this a country so bereft of leadership ,that all must accept collectively the end product that is the current status quo.

A status quo of avarice, intolerance, hubris, patronage and hypocrisy.

Somewhere along the way ,this became a non believer s journey.The Wananchi stopped believing.

Faith was decapitated and vomited along the way.

Somewhere along the way the Wananchi mistook a lay by for the final destination.

The Wanachi disembarked in Norton when the destination was Bulawayo.

Values and commitment were then discarded.

History is all that is left to judge us and our legacy. Did we walk the talk, did we fight our cause, were we loyal to the same.

Each man shall answer for himself the questions put foward by John F Kennedy

“Our success or failure ….will be measured by the answers to four questions. First
were we truly men of courage? Second were we truly men of judgment ? Third
were truly men of integrity. Finally were we true men of dedication”

These are the burning questions of the day.



  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 8 years ago

    TENDAI great words by President Kennedy but we thought Bob and the boys hate anything American etc. So those great words will fall on brain dead ears,eyes and people . Say no more.

  • comment-avatar
    Chess 8 years ago

    One has to understand the problem to come up with a solution. Trouble is Zanu IS the problem and will never find a solution to a problem they do not know. With a 90 year old in charge..or be it a 9 year old..God help us!

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Tendai sorry about your house. Nobody should have to suffer this kind of thing.

    That said, your statistics are mumbo jumbo and your final paragraph bombastic.

  • comment-avatar

    My own interpretation as a lay person who doesn’t understand figures was


    who knows

  • comment-avatar

    He is just a writer Wannachi. Tendai you cant lead you are good as a Minister,you cant even advise your President .you came home wth a Gnu document wihout a constitution to support it.we dont have leaders including you the sellout

  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    I respect people who are introspect, self critical,,,, we were heading for Bulawayo but we got off at Norton. This is truly what happened .The leadership is blind. We need new politics,anew way of thinking, new leadership. The ship is sinking.

  • comment-avatar
    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    Tendai Biti, there will always be a leadership deficit in Zimbabwe as long as you vote on tribal lines. This is the uncontestable truth!

  • comment-avatar

    Could not agree more, other than to add that there is an even greater leadership deficit in the MDC which are currently completely ineffective as an opposition.

  • comment-avatar
    Rocks tone 8 years ago

    For sure we don’t have vibrant leadership , which is able to unseat zanu pf through election , or by an bloodless means but Biti is watchful than his boss Morgan , because he managed to unearth shrewdness of ZANU pf , when they were busy taking people from various constituencies , these are type of leaders we want

  • comment-avatar
    Rocks tone 8 years ago

    Mthwakwazi my brother you must stop behaving in a tribal manner , if u are a real Zimbabwean each and every comment you post contains tribalistic pseudo ideas , please change the way you practice your practical criticism .

    • comment-avatar
      Mthwakazi 8 years ago

      @Rocks tone
      You the one who practices tribalism by voting on tribal lines. You have to change!!

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 8 years ago

    I can’t keep up with Biti. Leadership deficit? Was it not he who famously said: “When he’s gone that is when you will see that this man was Zimbabwe. Some of us who came from different parties have had to learn a lot from the man. He is a fountain of experience, fountain of knowledge and, most importantly, a fountain of stability…”

    • comment-avatar
      Mthwakazi 8 years ago

      That is exactly the problem with the MDC-T and its leadership – inconsistancies.

      Zimbabweans are suffering even more today because of the sell out role these MDC-T people played in the unity government. They even went further to defy SADC over Welshman Ncube and the MDC.

      Now for all this praising of gukurahundi Mugabe what did they get in return, nothing except insults and the advice that if they are not happy with the outcome of the elections they should commit suicide.

  • comment-avatar
    mukanya 8 years ago

    Tendai if you accept collective responsibility for the MDC challenges I will respect you. Remember when MT said MPs should not take RBZ cars they defied. Within a month in Parly they helped themselves to some seed and fertilisers from Nyikayaramba and MT was not there. As I write madam Khupe and Gonese jointly signed a letter representing current MDC-T MPs of wich you are one demanding more perks from parly again MT is out. These are really issues the Wananchi are worried about and not MT’s open zip for it does nothing to disadvantage them.

  • comment-avatar
    CHINDUNDUMA 8 years ago

    Mthwakazi you are an unwittingly supporter of Zanu pf through your tribalistic innuendo which clearly vindicates Mugabe of any wrong doing on Gukurahundi. Your hatred of all Shona people is meant to incite civil war mentality thereby entrenching prolonged Zanu Pf rule. This is a tired tactic of your handlers. We know for a fact that there are prominent Ndebele people including Dumiso Dabengwa who are actively pursuing the Gukurahundi issue with the support of many Shona people. You are just a faceless nameless brainless hoodlum with no support of the Ndebele people working in cahoots with Zanu Pf.

  • comment-avatar
    Zombi 8 years ago

    I wouldn’t waste a breath on mthwakazi. There are some people that are like horses wearing blinkers and they can only see one side to everything. Mthwakazi is such, and to worry about his poisonous vitriol is to dignify a madman.

  • comment-avatar
    Zombi 8 years ago

    Mthwakazi just reminded me of Zanu PF. Bob blames everything on the British and the Americans. Corruption is exposed in state run entities… Bob says legacy of British economic and government structures. Investor confidence wanes, then it’s the sanctions. To mthwakazi, everything is race. A wise man once said there is none so racist add them that see racism on every corner.

    • comment-avatar
      Mthwakazi 8 years ago

      In Zimbabwe, the political and economic problems are a direct manifistation of triba and racial politics. If you cant see that, its either you are ignorant, not analytical or a born-yesterday.

      Go back into the last 34 years. You will understand this better.

  • comment-avatar
    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    “Let those who are not happy with our overwhelming win of these elections commit suicide.”

    That is the thank you payback from the gukurahundi to the sell out anti Mthwakazi, anti Welshman, anti Dabengwa role the tribalistic Tswangirayi MDC T band of nincampoops played with so much excitement in the so-called govt of national unity post the 2008 elections.