Home » Governance » No Pity for Shamed Chinamasa – Biti

FORMER finance minister Tendai Biti says he doesn’t pity his successor, Patrick Chinamasa’s predicament because his Zanu PF party is responsible for the suffering of millions of Zimbabweans.

Biti, then secretary general of the MDC-T, was finance minister during the Government of National Unity (GNU) when the economy enjoyed sustained growth which has fizzled out under Zanu PF’s sole charge.

Chinamasa is struggling to find money for government operations. He tried to suspend civil servants bonuses until 2017 saying there was no money only to be publicly rebuked and overruled by President Robert Mugabe.

Speaking at an Africa Day round table discussion on Monday organised by Bulawayo Agenda, Biti said Zanu PF was clueless about solving the country’s economic problems.

“I don’t feel pity for him (Chinamasa) I don’t feel pity for a group of people who actually spend every day planning how to make the African suffer more,” he said.

“You will hear a politburo meeting lasted 12 hours Mugabe went home to sleep at 3am, discussing no development, no jobs but how do we fire that gamatox.

“Zanu PF must be held to account for the crimes against humanity they have committed against the people of Zimbabwe.”

Since taking over as finance minister, Chinamasa has had the unenviable task to leading efforts revive a failing economy with little success to date.

The minister has had to fend off vicious attacks from civil servants who have seen their pay dates shifted almost every month due to the country’s dry coffers.

In an unprecedented move that earned him a public tongue lashing from his boss, Chinamasa suspended civil servants bonuses before Mugabe ordered that they be reinstated.

Quizzed on what he would have done differently if he was still in charge of the public purse, Biti said it was important for someone in that position to instil hope in the citizens.

“This government doesn’t talk to us, this government puts a Dura wall to us,” he said.

“One thing we are most afraid of in this country is the government and you can’t develop as a country if people are afraid of its government.

“It should be the other way round, the government should be afraid of the people, because they are the bosses and they can fire you in an election.”

The MDC Renewal secretary general accused the ruling Zanu PF party of being clueless about how to run the economy.

He said there was need to reform the public sector and cut down on the number of people employed by the state.

“How can an economy as small as ours have 550,000 civil servants and 92 percent of government expenditure is going to wages, leaving 8 percent going to hospitals and education.

“Reduce the wage bill to 30 percent of your revenue and to less than 12 percent of your GDP,” said Biti.

He urged the government to deal with the banking sector, saying it was absurd that there were no savings in the country.

“For a country to develop it needs savings that are at least 25 percent to 30 percent of GDP,” said Biti.

He also pointed out that foreign direct investment was a key component in the revival of the country’s economy.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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