by Staff Reporter
Another Tendai Biti meltdown. - MrK
MDC-T secretary general, Tendai Biti, has launched a withering attack on President Robert Mugabe, insisting the veteran leader was ailing and effectively exposing his rule to a possible coup.
Speaking at a panel discussion on the government’s new ZimAsset economic blueprint held at a Harare hotel Thursday evening, Biti rebuked Mugabe and his Zanu PF party for failing to respond to the country’s mounting social and economic challenges.
“We are paralysed by a crisis of leadership; that you can have the chief executive officer of the country at 90. I know that there has been debate about the president’s health but in my respectful submission, being 90 is illness on its own,” Biti said to loud laughter from a packed gallery.
Minutes earlier, the MDC-T legislator had been the subject of both laughter and consternation from the gallery when he inadvertently fell backwards on one of the executive rocking chairs reserved for the panellists on the podium. But that did not dissuade him from his diatribe against Mugabe.
He described Zimbabwe as a “vampire state” that was never going to redress its economic woes without resolving its crisis of legitimacy as well as charming the international community for assistance.
“This is a government that is founded on vicious circles of exclusion, slogans of hatred, slogans of attrition personified in the head of state,” he continued.
“The man goes to the United Nations, the man goes, ‘shame, shame, shame, shame, shame’. You go to the Heroes’ Acre, when you read the speech, you just wonder who has been the target of this speech.”
Turning to his successor Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Biti said: “You have got a new minister of finance. Everyone is under attack, John Robertson, even poor Makandiwa, bankers and so forth.”
The MDC-T chief called for the immediate repeal of government’s populist indigenisation laws, stemming of the current closure of companies and commitment to funding social services if the country was to reverse its economic slide.
He accused his erstwhile colleagues in the disbanded unity government of having a “broiler chicken syndrome” which pushes them to spend uncontrollably government’s scarce financial resources on meaningless foreign trips without taking a moment to meditate on its consequences.
“The biggest problem with Zanu PF is that they don’t understand money and the economy. They are functionally illiterate. They think that money grows on trees,” Biti said.
How silly, we all know that money is borrowed from the IMF and World Bank, now don't we? - MrK
“People just believe in spending, spending, spending. It’s like a broiler chicken. The broiler just eats. It doesn’t know why it’s eating. It eats itself to death. It’s consumption for the sake of consumption.
Spending spending spending, instead of borrowing, borrowing, borrowing. - MrK
“It’s oblivious of where the food is coming from. It just eats 24 hours a day. So they have got a broiler chicken syndrome, they are oblivious kuti mari inobva kupi.”
Biti said the country’s economic crisis had become untenable, creating conditions for a coup.
“Those of you who have studied coups on the African continent you will find one common thing that is evident in those coups. Number one, there would be no leadership. It doesn’t mean there is no head of State at the state palace.
“He would be there but he is dead. He can’t offer directions to the economic problems that are affecting the country. He is indifferent. It’s almost like he is living in another country and reading about our problems on Facebook. If you have that, you have got a challenge. We have that in Zimbabwe.
“Number two - coups will occur where there is exclusion, where particular people, person, tribes or whatever feel that democratic processes are no longer working and tirikudzvinyirirwa so we have no choice but to resort to undemocratic processes.
“Thirdly where coups occur, the economy is not functioning. So we have the ingredients of serious social dislocation in this country.”
The other panellists at the discussion were former finance minister and now opposition Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Dr Simba Makoni, renowned economist Godfrey Kanyenze and gender equality activist Virginia Muwanigwa.