Biti calls for protests against Zanu PF

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MDC-Renewal secretary-general Tendai Biti

MDC-RENEWAL secretary-general Tendai Biti yesterday called on citizens to confront Zanu PF by challenging its rule, but fell short of calling for overt protests against the ruling party.

PRIVILEGE SHOKO
OWN CORRESPONDENT

In a statement, Biti said Zanu PF had failed and the party should resign, urging Zimbabweans to confront what he described as the party’s dictatorship.

“Zanu PF is not interested in dialogue and in respecting the citizen, therefore, it is up to the people to use their constitutional rights and confront Zanu PF,” he said.

“Section 67 of the Constitution bestows full political rights to every citizen of Zimbabwe. More importantly, Section 59 of the same Constitution bestows on every Zimbabwean the right to demonstrate and petition peacefully.”

Biti’s long-time ally-turned-foe MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai spent the better part of last year threatening protests against Zanu PF, but these never materialised.

The former Finance minister said 18 months after elections it had become clear that Zanu PF had no plan for the economy, as the country was mired in a serious structural crisis.

“It is now 18 months after the July (2013) elections and it is clearly beyond any reasonable doubt that the State is mired in a serious structural crisis reproduced in various forms, including economic collapse, acerbic succession battles, weak and absent leadership,” he said.

Biti said the 35 years of independence had been a trail of dashed hopes, dreams delayed, false starts and missed opportunities for citizens.

“The last 35 years have seen the collapse, demise and destruction of anything functional in this country and this is all reflective of the DNA of Zanu PF defined by one thing alone, destruction and cannibalisation,” he said. Biti said they were concerned about the economy which continued to deteriorate.

“The post-GNU (Government of National Unity) economy can only be described as the new failure, a defining period capitalised by incompetence, corruption, deflation, dishonesty and stagnant growth,” he said.

“The GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate has plummeted to levels below 4% in both 2013 and 2014 from a high point of 12% growth in 2011 and 10,7% in 2012.”

Biti said the growth rate under the new government was indicative of a shrinking economy.

“The failure by the government to pay civil servants’ bonuses in 2014 is an unprecedented act of incompetence and heartlessness,” he said.

“The bonus in a status quo situation of low disposable economy represents a saving to the government employee.”

Biti described the tinkering with the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act through the 2015 Finance Act as both a sham and a comedy.

“A country that asks each potential investor to deal with the relevant ministry is simply decentralising corruption and incompetence,” he said.

“There is no defined criterion and standard system, which each of the ministries will apply, resulting in greater confusion, arbitrage, distortion and corruption.”

Biti said the State was no longer able to meet its normal obligations of social service delivery.

“There are no drugs in clinics and hospitals and in places like Cowdray Park, Dulibadzimu, Mbare, Hatcliffe, Sakubva, Bobo and Dzivarasekwa Extension, Zimbabweans are living in squalor with no water or ablution facilities,” he added.