The Tendai Biti led opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has rubbished reports that President Robert Mugabe will be reshuffling his cabinet as a non-event. The PDP has instead called for the resignation of Mugabe and his entire cabinet. In a statement the PDP said:
Zimbabwe has for a long time been caught in a permanent fudge status quo, straddling from one crisis to another, radar-less, leaderless and clueless.
Government business has come to a standstill rendering a situation where the state is unable to discharge its core responsibilities as ZANUPF leaders are embroiled in an acerbic succession battle in response to the age of the President.
Our new reality is that of structural failure by government to prevent the colossal collapse of the economy.
The economy has been in structural decline that has seen GDP collapse from its record high of 11, 9% in 2011 to 2, 3% in 2014, the downward spiral continued to -3,8% in 2016 the figures will be worse for 2017.
From a stabilised economy in 2013, we have since slide into an inflationary position in recent weeks albeit in an environment with absent aggregate demand because Zimbabweans have been pauperised, they have no disposable income.
This combination has left Zimbabweans worse off than they were in the period leading to the consummation of the GNU in 2009.
The attempt to control the rising import bill in the absence of the requisite foreign currency through the totalitarian Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 has not worked; it has merely forced traders to resort to massive corruption at Zimbabwe’s porous border posts.
Some of the imports have flooded the streets of Harare, part of the reason why Mugabe now wants to remove vendors; he forgets that the government celebrates the informality of our economy.
The People’s Democratic Party has always stated that the poor vendors are not in the street by choice but are improvising to mitigate the unpalatable suffering created by Mugabe and his cabal.
At the centre of the confusion and crisis is the absence of a proper and credible leadership. The failure to respond by the authorities and the broken politics of Munhumutapa building. In short there is a serious leadership crisis in the holistic sense.
While the economy has shrunk, government revenue has collapsed while the expenditure has shot through the roof in the background of the regime’s abandonment of the cash budgeting principle set during the GNU.
As a result deficits have been on the rise from figures of around a billion at the end of 2015 to shocking figures of up to 44% of GDP according to Chinamasa’s official figures presented in the Mid Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement of 2017.Again the government’s incapacity to respond was reflected, instead of revising the budget to realistic figures and expenditure downwards, Chinamasa chose to issue toxic treasury bills worth billions of dollars.
In addition, the government since April has systematically been raiding bank deposits held in NOSTRO accounts and RTGS balances at the RBZ. This criminal activity has wiped clean deposits creating a huge liquidity crisis.
A disaster has also emanated from the unconventional attempt to monetise the gap through the introduction of a dubious surrogate currency called the bond note with a tumbling legislated exchange rate of 1:1 against the US Dollar.
This is a nightmare which has created serious distortions in the market, prices have shot up with gas stations running dry and the citizen is leaving in fear of losing their bank balances again. We in the PDP are of the view that bank balances must be ring fenced in their US Dollar form.
In short there is a serious crisis in Zimbabwe, the economy is in intensive care, the country is drowning in fragility and the smell of state failure is increasing by the day.
Our people are suffering; the scourge of unemployment has reached figures of up to 95% with more than 80% living in abject poverty.
The youths who constitute 65% of the total population have lost hope, 80 000 young people graduate every year but face a bleak future with no hope of employment.
Zimbabweans are dying of curable diseases, emotional stress related diseases are also on the rise. Public hospitals have at some point suspended operations due to the unavailability of basics like pain killers, an appalling state of affairs.
ZANUPF has redefined failure , a half-baked attempt of a recycle mistaken for a reshuffle will not work. The honourable thing to do is to accept failure and resign.
Mugabe must resign together with his cabinet, they must establish a National Transitional Authority as a matter of urgency and the NTA must address the following.
- Restoration of macroeconomic stability, implementing an economic emergency recovery plan as well as soliciting an emergency recovery fund.
- Constitutional reform including liquidating the imperial president in the constitution as well as introduction of Proportional Representation elections in Zimbabwe.
- Aligning the laws of the land to the constitution including strengthening the principle of devolution of power so as to avoid uneven development in the country.
- Dealing with the land question once and for all including a land audit to avoid multiple land ownership as well as dealing with the security of tenure by providing some kind of title.
- Strengthening Zimbabwe‘s institutions in particular civic bodies, the judiciary and independent commissions.
- Tightening anti-corruption mechanisms though the strengthening of institutions meant for combating graft including ZIMRA, prosecution, Anti-Corruption Commission and the Auditor General’s office.
- International reengagement with the intention to end Zimbabwe’s isolation.
- Security sector transformation
- Implementing a program of national healing, dealing with transitional justice and restoration of the social contract.
- Attending to structural electoral reforms as detailed in the Agenda for Restoration and Rehabilitation of Electoral Sustainability (ARREST).
Together Another Zimbabwe is Possible