WASHINGTON DC —
Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti says it will be impossible for the government to come up with a realistic national budget Thursday as the country is not creating any wealth due to what he calls lack of vision by the Zanu-PF regime.
In a statement, Biti, who is also the secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai, said the 2014 budget to be presented by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa will “be a Micky Mouse budget as there are no revenues to back it up”.
He said part of the reason is that Zimbabwe has a leadership crisis as the Zanu-PF government has people who are clueless about running an economy.
Biti said the economic crisis being experienced in the country is a symptom of a political crisis emanating from the disputed July 31st elections won by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
He said, “… The epicenter of the crisis bedeviling Zimbabwe is a chronic legitimacy crisis whose only solution lies in ensuring the holding of a free, fair, credible and legitimate election. We have an illegitimate regime in power. We are heading for a crisis.
“We need political hygiene. We need to re-engage the international community as no-one will invest in a country with an illegitimate government,” he said.
He further noted that Zanu-PF’s economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Social Transformation, is a non-starter as it is premised on Zanu-PF assumptions that money grows on trees.
“ZimAsset is a cut and paste policy document that is impossible to implement. With ZimAsset, I don’t think that Zanu-PF has the capacity to do anything that will help the people and revive the economy,” he said.
Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera of the Center for Disability and Development, said Chinamasa will not manage to come up with the expected pro-poor budget.
His views were echoed by Gideon Shoko, acting secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, who said the budget should address Zimbabwe’s high tax figures.
Chinamasa was not available for comment. The Zanu-PF government insists that its economic blue print is workable and likely to turn around the economy which is projected to grow by almost 3.4 percent in 2014.
Meanwhile, cash shortages continued at some indigenous-owned banks Tuesday while commercial banks are said to be handling their customer needs without a problem.
Clients of Allied, Tretad and Metropolitan banks told VOA Studio 7 they are being turned away or in some cases only allowed to withdraw a maximum of $50 per day while in the past they could access up to $2,000.
On Monday, customers ran amok at an Allied Bank branch in Harare destroying windows and assaulting an employee after failing to access cash.
Commercial banks are not affected by the cash crisis as their customers are withdrawing their money without any limits.