Zim on downward spiral – Tendai Biti

via Zim on downward spiral – DailyNews Live by Tendai Biti  18 NOVEMBER 2013  

Wananchi, the prospects of enduring the next six months under the current economic status quo breaks all spirits.

The truth is that for some reason, sudden inertia, hopelessness, indifference and lack of energy have become the reigning order of the day.

A permanent grey gloom pregnant with despair and abandonment.

The massive shrinkage of revenue being collected by the State more than anything else epitomises the downward spiral.

Revenues being collected are no longer enough to meet the monthly wage bill and therefore wage arrears are accumulating every month.

In the immediate short term, gymnastics can be performed to cover the arrears.

There is no substitute for sustainable macro-economic policies.

But the consequences of the absence of a sustainable roadmap for economic management are being felt.

This lack of energy can be seen in every sector of the economy.

Demand has shrunk, volumes are not moving and debts are not being paid. Many companies are going for months without paying wages.

If the wage bill is now 110 percent of total expenditure, self evidently there is no fiscal leg room to finance social services and public sector infrastructural programmes.

The truth of the matter is that the economy is on auto cruise to a melt down.

What has altered is confidence and trust. A trust deficit has emerged and with it all the things that happen in a low trust, high cost economy.

At this present moment in time, it is key that the leadership of this government at the very top must make the bold statements and decisions that can bring back confidence.

Speeches alone will not be sufficient but bold actions that will deal with the issues of transparency, bilateral aid, foreign direct investment and the issue of the disproportionate wage bill.

Over the years the existence of a generation that is so steeped in its old ways and does not understand the mechanics of money never mind the intricacies of micro and macro economics and the interrelationship between demand side and supply side economics.

That credit has a correlation with the debit, that is the golden rule of accounting.

As every accountancy student or teacher knows out there, you give to the right what you take from the left.

If leadership is not shown, what are the prospects?

First, it is wrong economics to assume that there is a Santa Claus out there who will fork out the billions of dollars that are required for a budget.

One must work with what is available, which in fact is a lot of money were it to be well managed.

So budget presentation can not be delayed because of a hope or ambition. The bad signals being sent by the delayed budget are just not worth it.

Hard decisions need to be made on the revenue side.

The fact that diamond revenue continues to be a myth, even on their own is shocking.

Why is diamond revenue such a sacred taboo? We know that there are very powerful people in control.

Even more powerful than the chief executive officer, that is why a certain Mr Masimirembwa, is still smiling all the way to the bank.

Not just diamonds, but all other government parallel funds must surely be accounted.

The existence of these many parallel outlets of leakages is reflective of weakness and a centre that is not holding.

If diamonds are being stolen, why is there no action?

In the subject of thermodynamics, there is a scientific measure called entropy.

It refers to the units of energy unavailable for productive use.

Where there is entropy, there is chaos and lack of direction.

There is too much entropy in this government and the party that gave birth to it.

The current economic problems are reflective of something deeper, something we have all known since the 90s.

The crises of legitimacy, of governance and expectation are humongous problems that will be with us for some time with all the attendant problems.

Unless there is a return to legitimacy, the wananchi must prepare for another roller coaster of anarchy and economic hemorrhage.

The truth of the matter is that this thing is rotten.

Chaora chinhu ichi. Zikomo.



  • comment-avatar
    ZimJim 8 years ago

    Well said, sir!

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    dayford 8 years ago

    Spot on Mr Biti our economy is back in the wrong hands. Thieving hands and hands tainted with the blood of unfortunate souls. We are in maximum trouble.

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    super mondo 8 years ago

    zanu = misery

  • comment-avatar

    Mugabeland (remember-my my zimbabwe) is rudderless. Gonomics china-masa clueless. Zanupf a den of criminals. China laughing all the way to the bank as masters of mortgaged puppets

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    Nyoni 8 years ago

    One question Mr Biti . Are you the Opposition strongly voicing these concerns to this Zanu government or not. One would think that given the state of our economy prior GNU and no one wanting to do business with Zanu, why on earth would anyone want to do business again with them. Does Zanu hope to change its stripes at this juncture. The GNU saved us until now and it appears these Zanu incompetents are behaving as if they saved. PAH WHAT HOGWASH.

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    Odessa 8 years ago

    Zanu said the GNU was the worst administration ever! Fine they have won (as they claim) so lets see their plan. We are all waiting.

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    Very informative article. But I feel the time has come now, for all to work to offering solid solutions to these national problems. Stating the obvious pitfalls every week is now unhelpful.

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    gideon nkala 8 years ago

    Unless ua Gono what do u think u can tell Zanu abt economics? They are just a bunch of clueless thieves.

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    masvukupete 8 years ago

    Psychopathy defined:

    Either an aspect of personality or as a personality disorder, characterized by enduring dissocial or antisocial behavior, a diminished capacity for empathy or remorse, and poor behavioral controls or fearless dominance.

    The study of the psychopath reveals an individual who is incapable of feeling guilt, remorse or empathy for their actions. They are generally cunning, manipulative and know the difference between right and wrong but dismiss it as applying to them.
    They are incapable of normal emotions such as love, generally react without considering the consequences of their actions and show extreme egocentric and narcissistic behavior.

    The sociopath is that truly self-absorbed individual with no conscience or feeling for others and for whom social rules have no meaning.

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    masvukupete 8 years ago

    Narcissism defined:

    A term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Currently it is used to describe the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride

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    masvukupete 8 years ago


    ZPF are full of psychopaths and they do show that behavior through and through.

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    msizeni silwelani 8 years ago

    Mugabe is stubborn, we won’t give advise. Only that the word economy is broad, therefore people continue to talk of economic meltdown, economy down spiralling otherwise the country needs a monthly, if not a daily budget like an ordinary household.

    Mugabe managed to destroy the economy, lets see if he can do the opposite.

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    Shebah 8 years ago

    What slide Mr Biti. Are you standing on your head. When civil service is being paid bonuses and getting increament you talk of salary arrears. I see you spirit is already broken because you thought you would still be minister of finance. Diamond money can never be disclosed until your ZNDERA project is lifted.

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    easily fooled 8 years ago

    Jake, people are willing to participate, the GNU being a typical eg, showing that when people are allowed to participate, change comes around. There are two problem, there are some people, who dont want input from others bcoz the skeletons in the cupboards will be fished out.Secondly, it is professional to accept failure and seek a way forward, do you always need Thabo Mbeki to come in and suggest that allowing others a forum to participate brings change. I respect Simba Makoni for a decision he made, he realised it was no longer possible to run the finance ministry, he opted out. Thus a reasonable way to move.

    Ko Dabengwa akaendiko nhai guys

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    Mr Mixed Race 8 years ago

    The truth cannot be hidden forever,therefore our diamonds funds looters will be haunted until they explain to us where the money went.

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    Shebah 8 years ago

    Mr Mixed Race, The money is in Zimbabwe, its the trading process which should remain a secret because ZNDERA will grab all our funds including the very source, who would want that to happen, maybe only fools.

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    Zvichapera 8 years ago

    Narrated well as usual Mr Biti, Masvukepete you describe Zanu PF zvazwiri. How do you break a country and mend it without reforms, ZPF is now like dogs with rabies, they will bite anything that moves and won’t stop until we put them down.

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    Boss MyAss 8 years ago

    MOST Zimbabweans do not have a choice to be anything else apart from being Zimbabwean. They are Zimbabwean and nothing will take-away their Zimbabweanness; not even the terror, the horror and the dread spread by Robert Mugabe. They are not Zimbabwean by choice but by birth. Mugabe treats Zimbabweans like contents of a sanitary night-bucket that exude the eerie smell associated with organic decay. It seems Mugabe is taking solace from the uncanny knowledge of their allegiance to Zimbabwe to cut their short and miserable lives even shorter and more miserable. He has managed to reduce their pride and their virility to the lowest state ever, turning men into women and women into toys for his games of perverted pleasure.

    We do not have a choice to be anything else but weeping, mourning, crying and lamenting Zimbabweans.They could be Zimbabwean only by choice. We remain without choice when it comes to citizenship. We are stuck in a sinking ship with Mugabe at the helm. We cannot jettison ourselves because we are chained to Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. If we could temporarily break the chains of Mugabe’s Zimbabwean-ness and jump over-board, the cold waters that are infested with hungry sharks would welcome us.

    We cannot mutiny as the captain is holding loaded guns onto our heads. We are wretchedly in short of choices. The madding captain of the ship is getting excited. He derives pleasure from our desperation and hopelessness. He surely knows that we deserve better. He knows that we do long for the choice to another choice which has nothing to do with his choice.

    We are starved for choices. Still we have no choice!

    The one choice we have so far embraced as suffering Zimbabweans is the choice to remain inactive. We have grown so used to suffering and turmoil that we are almost accepting it as the normal way of life. Mugabe is a happy man. He is happy that the people of Zimbabwe are embracing his totalitarian and repressive rule as the normal way of Zimbabwean life. We have been conditioned in the most bizarre way possible.

    We remain with our choice to be docile and receptive to torture, murder, poverty, rape of our womenfolk and abuse of our children. In living with our choice to remain loyal to those who cause us to live perilous lives, we have to accept the sad rewards. We cannot openly disagree with Mugabe. We have to treat him like a God-sent angel with tidings of peace and goodwill. We have to silently sulk at our stupidity. Mugabe has extended his largesse to only allow us to fantasise on anything else that has nothing to do with him.

    We are allowed to sulk silently. We have the express right to remain silent even when the urge to explode in verbal anger visits us. We are allowed to dream but are forbidden to tell what we dream. We have the right to castles in the air, yet it is a crime to complain about the discomfort in the hovel that you call your home. Our minds conjure up democratic dispensations for our country, yet it is unthinkable to mention such to Mugabe and his lieutenants. We are doomed, condemned, ruined and damned to remain Zimbabweans with no choice but to whinge in total silence.

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    Mr Mixed Race 8 years ago

    Please educate me. What is ZNDERA in full?

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    Boss MyAss 8 years ago

    TRADE between Zimbabwe and the European Union (EU) doubled in the first four years of the transition to multi-currencies in 2009, reaching a total of US$800 million as at end of 2012, with the terms of trade being US$200 million in Zimbabwe’s favour, information from the 28-nation bloc shows.

    Owen Gagare

    Signs are that there will be a marked improvement going forward, despite the perception that Zimbabwe is isolated by Western nations through sanctions, as is often cited by Zanu PF when explaining the country’s enduring economic morass. The Zimbabwe Independent has established that much work has been taking place behind the scenes to improve trade relations between the two traditional trading partners, resulting in greater and better trade.

    Harare ratified the interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Eastern and Southern African states, giving the country unlimited opportunities to export its products to countries in the bloc duty free and quota free, meaning the country can export as much as it can, provided it meets the EU quality standards.
    Although the trade agreement, which President Robert Mugabe signed on March 13 2012, also gives the EU access to the Zimbabwean market, it excludes the bloc from bringing in products which threaten the viability of local industries and the livelihoods of the majority.

    In addition, the agreement has safeguard clauses which provide additional safety nets for Zimbabwe by allowing the country to protect infant industries, ensure food security and rural development or any other production in the event of market disturbances by imports.

    “The EU is fully committed to support efforts of Zimbabwe to better integrate and compete in the regional and global economy. Zimbabwe ratified last year the interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Eastern and Southern Africa group …,” said Dell’Ariccia.

    “The provisional application of the agreement has very positive implications for the private sector and industry in Zimbabwe in general and in particular, it provides wide range of opportunities for accessing new markets in the 28 member states of the EU thanks to the duty- free quota free access of all goods to the European Union.”

    He said Zimbabwe was mainly exporting horticulture products, tobacco and minerals — among them tin and diamonds. He said the EU was however not buying Chiadzwa diamonds last year because of trade restrictions on Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and its subsidiaries, but that was set to change following the lifting of the restrictions.

    The EU in turn exported products not manufactured in Zimbabwe among them chemicals and machinery.

    The trade is despite the restrictive measures, which Zanu PF calls “illegal economic sanctions”, by the EU, which comprise of travel restrictions on Mugabe and his inner circle as well as an arms embargo imposed on the country since 2002.The measures, the bloc said, were in response to violations of human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law by government.

    The United States also took measures on the country under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act which stopped the country from receiving bilateral or multilateral debt relief or financial assistance from the US as well as financial organisations to which the US is a member.

    Mugabe and Zanu PF have been alleging sanctions are responsible for the country’s economic meltdown and giving the impression that relations between Harare and the EU are very thorny with very little co-operationNevertheless, the Zimbabwe government could also benefit from direct aid from EU under the 11th European Development Fund, which supports development programmes in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The EDF will run from 2014 to 2020.

    The country has not had access to the funds since 2002, when the bloc suspended direct aid to Zimbabwe, under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, although humanitarian aid has continued through civil society.

    Dell’Ariccia said the EU had, in July last year, suspended the application of the agreement and was working at a technical level to see how the two parties could start co-operation in future. He said the article had however not been lifted, despite the suspension.

    Dell’Ariccia also revealed European investors were keen to invest in the country although they were still waiting to see the course being taken by the government. He said future signs were encouraging.

    “The only thing that has prevented them from coming with enthusiasm was certain policies that were not clear enough to create a climate of trust and confidence, particularly on indigenisation. They are not against indigenisation. The point is that the rules of the game must be clear, transparent and the same for everyone,” he said.

    “The new minister (of Indigenisation, Francis Nhema) has been very positive. This has already produced a positive effect on investors.”

    Dell’Ariccia said European investors were interested in many areas among them energy production, manufacturing, mining and services.

    The engagement between the government and the Antwerp World Diamond Council (AWDC) is also likely to benefit the country, as this would result in value addition of Zimbabwe’s diamonds through polishing and cutting, as well as exposure to a larger market.

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    Mr Mixed Race 8 years ago

    Thanks for the detailed explanation. Shebah failed to respond , maybe he has something to hide.I now know what ZDNERA stands for and who is not biding by the arrangement.

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    Tell them wanachi. You were the best finance minister. You fight very hard to put the train back onto the track, but they are can’t keep it on the track. Only to derail it. Only in 4 months the cracks a wide open, to the extend that even a blind can tell. These zanus they are heartless people. Tinoda kutonga tega! Pasi neGNU ndikokugona kutonga nyika here ikoku? Chete asingazive haazive kuti haazive. Hamunzwe mataurire avo. Takabva nenyika kuMozambique. Eye makasungura nyika chokwadi munotendwa. Asi kwete kuti muite zvamunoda nevanhu. Yeukai nyika vanhu. Kufadza vanhu ndikokugona kutonga nyika. Kwete kungoguta mega nyika yose vanhu vachidya nhoko dzezvironda. Ko iye mwari hamumutye. Mbavha dzevanhu. Better mufe mese, kana mbeu yenyu hatiide.