via Place Zimbabwe under curatorship: Biti – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 6, 2014 by Everson Mushava
FORMER Finance minister and leader of the opposition MDC-T’s Renewal Team Tendai Biti yesterday said the country should be urgently placed under curatorship administered by a regional transitional technical team as the Zanu PF government had failed to rescue the free-falling economy.
Addressing journalists in Harare, Biti, who two months ago was “fired” as MDC-T secretary-general, said Zanu PF could not be “trusted to solve the problems they authored”.
“You cannot expect the same mindset that created the problems to solve them,” Biti said.
“A transitional technical team should be set to revive the country’s economy. If you look at the country’s per-capita income, we are now as way back as 1958. The government owes us an apology. What make us angry is when government pretends as if things are not bad.”
He said the country should once again be under Sadc curatorship that encompasses the full extent of the country’s economic crisis.
Biti said the 2008 hyperinflation era was better than the current deflation. He said Zanu PF had reduced the country to a trading nation, with the ratio of exports to imports now at 1: 8 as local industry was collapsing at an alarming rate.
Zimbabwe is currently suffering a serious cash crisis that has seen most companies either retrenching workers or closing down. Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been traversing the world with a begging bowl for budgetary support, but has come back empty-handed.
Chinamasa said the country needed $27 billion to fund the government’s economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).
Biti, however, said the country urgently needed a $3 billion rescue package and Zanu PF should swallow its pride and convene an international conference underwritten by world monetary institutions in order to get international funding.
Government, Biti said, should restore the social contract and negotiate with labour and immediately repeal the indigenisation laws because no amount of amendments would make them any better.
He said government should clear its external debt which now stands at $11 billion and negotiate unconditional economic ties with all continents.
“Government’s desperation is seen when it increases fees for everything. First, it was hospital bills and now toll fees. This is becoming a robber economy. The effect is that people will flee the country. From a robber state, we have become a debtor economy. From January until now, the country has borrowed $600 million to finance recurrent expenditure,” Biti said.