Audio: Govt lack of confidence causing economic crisis – Biti

EX-FINANCE minister Tendai Biti says it is too early to expect the economic fundamentals to have changed since the Zanu PF administration took over, but lack of confidence in the government has caused the economic crisis in the country.

REPORT BY DUMISANI SIBANDA

In an interview on Monday, Biti, who is also MDC-T secretary-general, said the new government which assumed power three months ago had the challenge of engendering trust in the economy.

Listen to the interview below:

“I think that the fundamental problem that we are having right now is the issue of confidence,” Biti said. “The economic fundamentals do not change in four months. There is no more trust and that lack of trust is then exacerbated, it is then compounded, by people doing things that are questionable.”

Biti said failure by the new Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa to announce the National Budget was an example of factors that dampened confidence in government.

“Why not present the budget in the year that it has to be presented?” Biti queried. “People question you. They question you because a budget is a confidence instrument, it is an instrument of management, companies wait for you to announce the budget because the tax year begins in January. If you are now going to announce the tax measures on the 20th of January, people say, ‘hang on a minute you are now making us have a problem doing our books and so on’.”

He said it was important to realise that Zimbabwe was a small player in global economics and antagonising the big players would merely result in its downfall.

“Take Foreign Direct Investment for instance, the biggest recipient of FDI is China. Any computer you have, that camera you have is made in China. So you are saying you are looking East, but the East is looking at the West and very much inextricably part of the West.

“So people look at you and say what are you? A $4 billion dollar budget, a country with a GDP of $9 billion. What is that? Less than the budget of Walmart in the United States of America, that is less than the budget of the Spar franchise in South Africa.”

He said the government should not sacrifice the lives of its citizens by merely claiming to be a sovereign state.


Biti said piecemeal attempts to address relations with the West such as the attempt by Chinamasa last week to court Zimbabwe’s enemies asking them to forget about the past and build lasting economic relations would not do the trick.

“Talk is cheap. Walk the talk. Show us that you are now going to be inclusive. People look at President Mugabe, so one warrior cannot pretend to have demobilised when the general has not demobilised.”

Biti said there was need for government to “turn the arrows of hatred into ploughs of inclusivity”.

Meanwhile, Biti on Monday launched his own Tendai Biti law firm after a five-year stint in government. Biti, who has 18 years experience as a lawyer, said the law firm where he horned his skills, Honey and Blackenberg, had become his “second home” to him, but felt it was prudent to set up his own company.

After graduating from the University of Zimbabwe‘s law school in 1989, Biti joined Honey and Blackenberg where he became the youngest partner at 26.

“I am making available to the public 18 years of experience as a lawyer, the only one in Zimbabwe who has also been the Minister of Finance,” he said.

“I have experience and I am on first name basis with the leaders of various important institutions like the World Bank, Preferential Trade Area Bank and the African Development Bank. I was involved in the process of making the new Constitution which has a Bill of Rights, but as a lawyer I am itching to test it. During my tenure as Finance minister there were a lot of laws that were made under my ministry. That’s part of the experience that the public can tap into.”

Biti said he does not consider himself a politician, but rather an “activist”.

He joins other MDC-T senior officials who have gone back to law practice since the party’s crushing electoral defeat to Zanu PF including party spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, former deputy justice minister Obert Gutu and former constitutional affairs minister, Eric Matinenga.

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20 Comments

  1. a a a a mukoma ava vangwara , ko mogiza acha itei? ncube wave murimi mukuru.

  2. He is now laying his eggs in different baskets.what a gud idea

    1. he will run a brothel

  3. Biti u r a role model honestly.u have proven beyond reasonable doubt that there is life after politics unlike ZANU PF thieving and corrupt ministers who find it extremely hard to survive outside of corruption.most of them just cant even set up a tuckshop once they lose their ministerial jobs.david parirenyatwa is a prime example.he had to lick mugabes masvada to have a job at the health ministry coz he cant even prescribe paracetamol to a patient with a throbbing headache.anyone heard of chenhamo chimutengwende.where is he now after politics

  4. Yaa its clear MDC has given up on us. Many of them with options have gone back to their jobs, so who is going to drive the party machinery if the sec gen. now wants to practise in court. These guys were never in it right from the word go. They simply wanted fame and riches to run their private lives. Look ari kuto poza Biti kwanzi I have been finance chino bla bla. You are now abandoning the struggle because iwe zvakakuitira, but boy wotofamba with monya otherwise there are many of us wamakanyengera saying you wanted to fight for our freedom, our rights. Rights to feed, vote and get employment, helath and shelter. You never told us that you were surrendering. Some of us lost dear ones, loved ones, bread winners and to us you cant abandon us so easily and practise in peace. Some of us sacrificed our lives, limp and are now maimed because of false promises from people like you. Now that you are better off you are abandoning us and its so painful you are doing it when we are nowhere nearer getting into power than a few years ago. maybe ndimi makatengwa ne NIKUV because if you were genuine you would be like Mudzuri trying to find solutions to push the struggle foward. Vatengesi the world over are dealt with. We blindlym followed you into supporting your party hoping kuti you had the balls to go all the way, but now we see the whole lot are cowards. Iyezvino Zanu yakatimaka, we cant get promotion, jobs, mbeu or anything because tiri kunzi MDC and iwe you are bandoning us. BLAZO hakuna iyeyo. We will not make your chickening out comfortable because we are hurt.

    1. Some were raped, burnt alive and had properties looted all in the name of fighting a batte for these selfish cowards. mdc was getting lots of cash from donors which you guys abused, otherwise if you were straight you would still be surviving off the donors and running the musangano. I have said it before and will say it again that these MDC leaders, Tsvangirai, Chamisa and Biti were not suitable to lead the struggle against Mugabe. I dont know what root we all smoked to allow overselves to be led by schoolboys and ma jager akawanda kudai. Zimbabwe inomunyama vakomana kubva kutongwa nembavha iyezvino opposition makorokoza ne mbavha. I give up

    2. MDC is trying to have a democratic debate in a non-democratic state that can’t stand opposition. Nkomo, had all credentials including revered “liberation struggle” status but the prize he paid was high and was pushed into a submissive corner to stop his supportes form dying. Ndabaningi Sithole started ZANU PF but they could not declare him a national hero. History is littered with ZANU PF’s ruthless disgust of those who oppose them. They never stopped fighting. If there is no opposition, they fight amongst themselves. They would rather everyone die from cholera, than share power. How on earth do you deal evil of that nature?

  5. it is difficult to understand how the Minister of Finance can fail to present 2014 yet his party was able to come up with its $2 trillion manifesto. Can’t he set the budget parameters on the manifesto guidelines?

    I agree with Biti that its too early to talk of any signs in the economy.
    But when the manifesto was prepared what was in the minds then? To start working after how many months in office???

    May someone help me here. When Biti was Minister of Finance, he used to complain that Diamonds proceeds were not reaching the Treasury. The then Minister of Mines would counter that and ZMDC would have articles in the media presenting some cheques. Now the new Minister of Finance is alleging that Treasury has not received proceeds for sometime.
    Who is having the last laugh.

  6. @ Seka zvako. Come on Biti has not abandoned the struggle. He is just getting himself occupied whilst at the same time he is feeding his children. There would be enough time for party work in between. Iwe Seka unofanira kunge unezvimwe zvauri kuita fanika kutengesa mbatatisi nemakuzvungu asi tinokuona uchienda kumisangano nguva zhinji. Madhara mazhinji eZANU PF by 2018 anenge atorwa nedenga saka mukana yakawanda hama yangu. Meanwhile, work hard for your family, Seka !

  7. Ko dai ari mai Mujuru vaka beatwa vai nyora cv va chi lista chii since ku bundas.From entertaining ma camarada shooting down obsolete helicopters… a a a taimboseka hedu isu

    1. hahahaha unodherera

  8. Who is brave enough to stick around when the walls are crumbling? The “best finance minister in the world” In 5 years failed to mobilize even a cent of either bilateral or multilateral funding to support the economy. “Beta ndidzokere ku law” Those who know him describe him as rude and crude, who needs a lawyer like that. Usadzoka futi into national politics! You almost feel sorry for Morgan, surrounded by cannibals who would eat him if he blinked.

    1. @ Farai, the chap brags that he is on a first name basis with certain so and so’s, like his boss brags about rich friends. Funny how the so and so’s and the rich friends never mention these alleged intimate bonds.

      Kunyenga musikana uchiti shamwari yangu inemota hazvibetsere chinhu.

    2. Biti anechikoro chake, he won’t starve the biggest looser are the ordinary Zimbabweans. Zanufication of government is complete. One can’t tell the difference between politicians and civil servants. All permanent secretaries are appointed along party lines. Zimbabwe will never move forward if we can’t separate state from the ruling party.

      The truth is Mudhara, aitsvaga retirement package to protect himself from nyaya dzake dzekuuraya vanhu, his ministers are looting for a better tomorrow mudhara asisipo.

  9. Who will support Biti and other MDC’s former government officials if they don’t go work or start their own businesses? I doubt the MDC has the resources to give the financial support that is needed to financially sustain these former government officials from MDC. At least they are earning an honest living while still involved in politics through the MDC.

  10. It’s amaizing how the new FM failed to issue the budget on time,imagine the inconvience it will cause.

  11. It’s better to delay issuing the budget until you are certain about the income streams. Rather that than issue a fancy but unfunded budget. Ministries are sitting on huge budget allocations that have no matching funding. If Biti was half the finance Minister he claims he was, his funding of government departments would not have run out in June. A full six months before the end of the financial Year. He didn’t even have the money to fund a referendum that gave his party a chance to control government let alone an election that would have got them into statehouse. The country is in a financial mess now because Air Miles Biti failed to make the necessary provisions preferring to eat everything he killed! “Best finance minister in the world” my foot! The man might have looked the part but was way out of his depth.

  12. Our future first true President awaiting to rule is Strive Masiiwa yikho lapho engiza voter khona mina lo

  13. i seriously cannot get enough of this man … he i just too much . Sando , hama ,zvipikiri nemapurang’a kuna Tendai Biti

  14. Biti is a thief!

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