Zanu PF slows down State progress â€” Biti
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has been accused of stealing 22 years of progress from Zimbabwe due to corruption and misuse of government funds, a top MDC minister has said.
MDC secretary-general and Finance minister Tendai Biti told an all-structures conference for Harare leaders on Saturday that the MDC faces a mammoth task in rebuilding a “new Zimbabwe” to get the country back where it used to be.
“Zimbabwe is behind by 22 years when Zanu PF last governed in 1990, after that Zanu officials started stealing from the country,” Biti said.
He said Zimbabwe in 1990 was rated second most progressive country after South Africa but it has fallen to third from bottom after Swaziland and Lesotho.
“Honestly, we cannot be rated with the likes of Lesotho and Swaziland whose population of productive people is way less than ours,” Biti said.
Zimbabwe’s population stands at almost 13 million according to last year’s population census while Swaziland has a population of 1,3 million and Lesotho’s population is pegged at 1,9 million.
In recent weeks, Zimbabwe has witnessed what critics say is a crackdown on the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, a body created to combat corruption, after the graft busters closed in on three Zanu PF ministers over alleged underhand deals.
On the other hand, MDC secretary-general explained the recently unveiled jobs plan for Zimbabweans under an economic blueprint dubbed JUICE, an acronym for Jobs, Upliftment, Capital Investment and Ecology.
The thrust of JUICE is to create one million jobs by 2018, increase economic growth rate exponentially, further reduce inflation rate, deliver a $100 billion economy by 2040, improve electricity generation and build a social contract.
Biti said the economic blue print was expected to address problems in a country reeling from the after effects of a plunderous regime of economic mismanagement policies instituted by Zanu PF in the guise of indigenisation and empowerment.
Mugabe’s Zanu PF is counting on momentum from its indigenisation policies and the veteran ruler’s charisma and anti-poverty programmes to outweigh weariness with those day-to-day problems – to make gains at this year’s poll.
Mugabe, who is confident of a re-election triumph, has been sending out some political heavy hitters inside his party to roll out his indigenisation drive to communities to try and wrest control of some opposition-held constituencies.
The MDC says Zanu PF’s Community Share Ownership was a “charade” and a ploy to hoodwink voters ahead of elections.
Biti says it has become too clear that what Zanu PF was packaging as a people empowerment programme was in fact a self-enriching “jamboree” by a few connected pundits in the rank-and-file of Zanu PF structures.
University of Zimbabwe students’ representative council president Agency Gumbo told the conference that students will vote for a party that offers them hope.
“At our (students) conference yesterday (Friday), students said to me ‘president we do not want a future where our degrees will not get us jobs’.”
Gumbo said students were tired of attaining meaningless degrees that did not get them jobs. – Bridget Mananavire