Finance minister Tendai Biti says he is not bothered by remarks being made by Zanu PF that he tried to usurp President Robert Mugabe’s powers through amendments in the Finance (No 2) Bill to do with the National Budget.
Biti said in an interview with NewsDay on Thursday that the arguments by Zanu PF were completely baseless and that no matter the amount of opposition he got from those trying to derail the Budget, he, as Finance minister, was raring to have the Budget implemented.
This week Zanu PF attacked Biti through state-controlled media claiming he had introduced amendments to the Finance (No 2) Bill as a ploy to Nicodemously take away the powers of the President to control the country’s resources.
They charged Biti was out to assume absolute control over diamonds and the country’s other resources.
Zanu PF officials went to town blasting the Finance minister through state media outlets for allegedly attempting a “technical coup bid” over the President.
The instruments that Biti had allegedly employed included Section 2 of the Exchange and Control Act Chapter 22:05 in the Finance Bill.
“I am not bothered by the noise being made by Zanu PF because they are baseless arguments being recklessly thrown about by frustrated people who did not want the Budget passed,” said Biti.
“As Minister of Finance, I am raring to have the Budget implemented.”
Biti said: “I will not be deterred by statements from people who have agendas other than the building of this nation. In as far as I know there is absolutely nothing wrong in my proposals and there was no sinister motive, none whatsoever.”
The Zanu PF wars with Biti were so intense that Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo alleged that Biti was trying to accommodate Charles Kuwaza on the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority board when he already sat on two other boards.
“Clause 18, 22 and 23 deal with membership to boards of parastatals and we understand Minister Biti had an individual in mind whom he wanted to be on the three boards,” Gumbo was quoted as saying.
MDC-T party spokesman, Nelson Chamisa also said he was surprised by the “fiction” that Zanu PF had created over the National Budget that Biti presented with the approval of Cabinet. “Zanu PF has this disturbing appetite for fiction,” Chamisa said.
“They do not want facts and they believe in propaganda. They are the kind of people that can convince themselves that they are females when they are males. They have this self-imposed illusion that no one who is not in Zanu PF can be patriotic.”
He said Biti was otherwise a very patriotic Zimbabwean because without his “wise counsel” concerning financial matters of this country, the country would have collapsed and hunger would have taken its toll on a lot of people.
“Not only are they (Zanu PF) a danger to the country, but they are also a danger to themselves as they cannot give appropriate solutions to appropriate problems,” Chamisa said.
He said Zanu PF were the kind of people who would blame sanctions whenever they “failed to pay maintenance for children they sired”.
Chamisa said it was high time the state broadcaster, ZBH, became a true public broadcaster because it had proved to be a Zanu PF mouthpiece through “bombarding people’s ears with Zanu PF propaganda” and attacking opposition parties.
He said the MDC-T had achieved in a year what Zanu PF could not do in 30 years.
Meanwhile the Finance (2) Bill on Thursday sailed through Senate and now awaits Presidential assent.