By Tichaona Sibanda
18 June 2010
Finance Minister Tendai Biti reportedly stormed out of a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, leaving Robert Mugabe ‘stunned.’ Since independence no one in government or from any political party, has apparently ever stormed out of a meeting chaired by Mugabe.
It was so unprecedented and dramatic that even Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and several cabinet ministers were left visibly shocked by Biti’s action.
The weekly Zimbabwe Independent reported on Friday that Biti angrily walked out during a heated debate on the Reserve Bank debt restructuring plan, which pitted him against ZANU PF ministers.
The paper quotes unnamed ministers saying the finance minister was engaged in a ferocious fight, with ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi over how to deal with RBZ’s debt profile.
Many ministers from ZANU PF have been stripping bare RBZ assets, via a flood of claims over unpaid debts. Many of the claims are believed to be fraudulent.
‘It was like nothing we have ever seen before. Towards the end of the cabinet session on Tuesday Biti furiously stormed out. He left in a huff and we were all stunned,’ one minister told the paper.
Another minister added; ‘Mugabe’s reaction was that of shock and disbelief. We could not believe what was happening. As for the rest of cabinet we were astonished and rendered speechless.
After Biti left party leader Morgan Tsvangirai defended his actions, accusing ZANU PF ministers of personalizing issues. It’s reported Mugabe did not say anything.