I don’t know it all, says Biti as he calls for dialogue

Ex-Finance Minister Tendai Biti

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
30 July 2014

Ex-Finance Minister Tendai Biti has agreed with President Robert Mugabe’s wife that no one person has all the answers to the Zim crisis, saying that is why dialogue is crucial.

Speaking last week, Grace said Biti had been arrogant at his inauguration as finance minister when he said he would not fail in his new role because he knows it all.

Biti said the same humility that Grace feels he lacked is also required of ZANU PF, and repeated his call for the ruling party to admit it has failed to fix the economy and consult Zimbabweans across the political divide for a solution.

“She is right that no one person or group has all the answers to the problems we are facing and that is why ZANU PF should agree to dialogue with all Zimbabweans.

“During my time as Finance Minister I used to visit every province before every budget to consult Zimbabweans, represented mainly by their associations ranging from informal traders, farmers, to business groups.

“The discussions I had during these outreach meetings were very enriching and that is the approach Zimbabwe should adopt. Dialogue and consensus should inform policy formulation because no-one knows everything and there I agree with Madam Mugabe,” Biti told SW Radio Africa.

The ruling ZANU PF party has however ruled out any national dialogue with other political parties despite worsening economic conditions.

“We don’t believe that there is any reason for that. We won elections on July 31st and we are the government of the day until 2018; we have no intention of relinquishing any power to an election loser,” ZANU PF junior spokesman Psychology Maziwisa said Wednesday, in reference to the MDC-T.

Maziwisa’s remarks contradict his superior Rugare Gumbo who recently expressed his party’s conditional willingness to talk to the MDC-T on the national crisis.

This latest u-turn is set to disappoint ordinary Zimbabweans who are bearing the consequences of ZANU PF’s economic mismanagement and lack of ideas.

Biti, who is also the secretary of the MDC Renewal Team, said ZANU PF should realise that Zimbabwe is on the verge of a total collapse and such grandstanding without results to show for it, would not help.

“Let’s be patriotic and humble enough to have dialogue as compatriots and find solutions to the question of the burning economy. People matter,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Social Democrats political group said ZANU PF’s decision to snub dialogue, when it has clearly failed to stem the meltdown, will tip the country over the edge.

The group’s secretary Wilbert Mukori also reminded ZANU PF that contrary to Maziwisa’s brag, the ruling party did not win but stole the July 31st elections.

Mukori said the crisis shows the ruling party’s lack of capacity to address the problems of corruption and lawlessness that are behind the economic meltdown.

“We condemn ZANU PF’s revised position to hang on to power although the party has clearly failed to deliver any economic recovery and thus drag the nation over the abyss,” Mukori said in a statement issued Tuesday.



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