FORMER Finance minister and MDC Renewal president-designate Tendai Biti has called on Parliament to begin proceedings to impeach President Robert Mugabe over his government’s failure to arrest the country’s socio-economic decline.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
In a statement yesterday, Biti’s party attributed the economic challenges to Zanu PF and Mugabe’s misrule.
“Section 109 of the Zimbabwean Constitution allows a vote of no confidence to be passed on government through a joint resolution passed by at least two-thirds of the total membership in Parliament.
“The current state of the economy and the breakdown of the social fabric of the country justify an immediate vote of no confidence in Mugabe’s government,” Biti said.
Asked whether it was possible for Zanu PF legislators, who constitute a two-thirds majority in Parliament, to turn against their leader, Biti said the legislature had a constitutional obligation to “rescue the nation”.
“Zanu PF is the majority party in Parliament and we do not expect its lawmakers to suddenly turn against their leader just like that,” he said.
“What is not in dispute though is the level of desperation in the country, the level of economic and social decay is unquestionable and Parliament has a constitutional duty to intervene on behalf of the people.
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“MPs, including those from the ruling party, and the legislature, as an institution, have a national duty, we are not asking for a favour from them, but they took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution.”
He added: “Zimbabwe is greater than Mugabe and the sum of his government and Parliament is now called upon to rise above petty political differences and partisanship and rescue the nation.
“Thanks to Mugabe’s rule, this economy is in an unprecedented structural meltdown characterised by collapsed output, massive unemployment, lack of capital, deflation and structural distortions.
“Since 2012, the economy has been on a downward spiral and according to our calculations, GDP [growth] will decline to a measly -3% in 2015 before hitting rock bottom of -7% in 2016,” the former Treasury chief said.
Biti said the economy was in deflation, faced a ballooning budget deficit and collapsing demand, a sure sign of recession.
He said the current economic crisis stems from policy distortions and incompetence. The opposition politician also poked holes into Mugabe’s 10-point plan presented to Parliament two weeks ago.
“The so-called 10-point plan is not new and is no plan at all,” Biti said.
“The regurgitation of overused sound bites should never be mistaken for a panacea to the current economic challenges.
“We have said it before, and we restate it now, this government is clueless.
“It has only two key concerns, which are power for the sake of power and, of course, patronage, aggrandizement and kleptocracy.”
He said at its inaugural convention next week, MDC Renewal will unveil two policy documents: the Holistic Programme for Economic Transformation (HOPE) and the Agenda for the Restoration and Rehabilitation of Electoral Sustainability (ARREST).
“The two documents offer an incisive solution to the current impasse,” Biti explained.
“We believe that another Zimbabwe is possible, a new Zimbabwe is possible. A new Zimbabwe which is sustainable, just, free and democratic.”