HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has warned President Robert Mugabe and his “clueless regime” that Zimbabwe is on the precipice of total disaster as the country’s socio-economic crisis continues to deepen.
In a statement yesterday, spokesperson Obert Gutu also said “the centre could not hold anymore”, with Mugabe allegedly running out of ideas to extricate the country from the looming economic abyss.
“At the rate that the Zimbabwean economy is imploding, there is a very real risk of civil commotion taking place in the country soon because millions of Zimbabweans have no access to food and even the Zanu PF regime itself is struggling to timeously pay civil servants their salaries. The country is on a knife-edge,” Gutu said.
He said Zimbabwe needed “to go back to the basics” and address the glaring lack of political legitimacy in the country which resulted from Mugabe and Zanu PF “rigging their way to power in the 2013 elections”.
“No matter what the rogue and incorrigibly corrupt Zanu PF regime might continue to say, the long and short of it is that the national economy is on a downward spiral that can only end up in a total and unprecedented financial and socio-economic meltdown.
“The economic situation from July 2013 up to date is dire. Several companies have since closed down and thousands of workers have been laid off. The economy has been contracting at a frightening pace ever since the end of the inclusive government in July 2013,” Gutu said.
The former deputy Justice minister also sarcastically accused Zanu PF of “creating” two million vendors instead of the two million jobs that it had promised ahead of the hotly-disputed 2013 elections.
“Although Zanu PF promised to create 2,2 million jobs between 2013 and 2018, the statistics are very grim since no less than two million vendors and loafers have been off-loaded onto the job market since July 31, 2013.
“Our imports bill is around $6 billion against an exports bill of around $2,9 billion. This huge balance of payment mismatch is creating havoc in the financial markets,” Gutu said.
He added that with the country facing a debilitating shortage of cash, and citizens now spending hours in bank queues as they patiently waited to access their hard-earned money, this was “symptomatic of an economy that has totally gone off the rails”.
“Even the proposed introduction of bond notes — which, in any event, are Zimbabwe dollars by another name — will not in any way arrest the mayhem that is currently obtaining in the country’s financial markets.
“On times without number, the MDC has stated that the July 31, 2013 elections were stolen. Zanu PF massively rigged that plebiscite and since then, Zimbabwe’s economy has been on an endless tailspin.
“The world over, sound and prospering national economies are anchored upon a legitimate and credible political infrastructure.
“Put alternatively, there can never be economic development and prosperity against the bedrock of political instability and upheaval,” Gutu charged.
He said the country would not come out of the current economic crisis unless Mugabe and his entire Cabinet resigned.
He also called for a complete overhaul of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) secretariat, arguing that it was staffed with personnel from the country’s security system.
“The MDC calls upon Mugabe and his entire Cabinet to immediately step down and to allow for the holding of free, fair and credible elections that will be run and supervised by the United Nations with the active participation of both Sadc and the AU.
“As currently constituted, the Zec is completely incapable of running an election that will pass the test of legitimacy. Besides Zec being broke, the Zec secretariat is packed with hard-line CIO agents and other security operatives who are determined to rig any election in favour of the ruling but crumbling party.
“Mugabe is now also a visitor to Zimbabwe since he spends most of his time outside the country,” Gutu thundered.