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Zhanda backs Biti on Budget


GWERU — Zanu PF’s Goromonzi North MP and chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment, Paddington Zhanda has defended Finance minister Tendai Biti saying the government exchequer should not be blamed for the poor performance of the National Budget.

Report by Stephen Chadenga Own Correspondent

Addressing stakeholders during a 2013 National Budget consultative meeting in Gweru on Wednesday, Zhanda said it was unfair to blame him as if he was singularly responsible for the Budget formulation, which was a collective effort.

“Whenever we refer to problems bedevilling the economy or we are discussing the Budget as we are doing right now, there is need to bear in mind that it is a national issue,” said Zhanda.

“So the Budget is not about Biti personally. I have nothing to gain in defending Biti, neither is there reason for me to blame him. But we work together as partners in the inclusive government with the minister and we don’t refer to each other along party lines.”

Zhanda said Biti could not go it alone in solving the country’s economic woes. Speaking at the same function, Biti said: “Important as your concerns are, my ministry cannot meet all the demands.

“The envelope is thin and we should work together on how we can increase government revenue.”

Biti, who is the MDC-T  secretary-general, has of late come under a barrage of attacks from civil servants, war veterans and coalition government partners who accuse him of sabotaging certain projects on party lines.

Early this month, a group of war veterans aligned to Zanu PF besieged his offices demanding a review of their pensions while a certain group of civil servants has sought to blame him for poor salaries.

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