Tendai Biti Working For Simba Makoni?

Zimbabwe's new finance minister, MDC's Tendai Biti, held a press conference today which took me aback a bit.

Biti, speaking about the need to pay salaries for civil servants in foreign currency (soldiers have already been given their forex "allowance"),  said "We need to get Zimbabwe working again."
He repeated this phrase three times.

Most of you will recall that Simba Makoni's campaign line was "Let's Get Zimbabwe Working Again." He uses that still as his signature.

So is Biti trying to fulfill Makoni's promises?

Of course, the words are apt and applicable right now. But I doubt that Biti understands the depth of the Statement as used by Simba Makoni.

It is not just about paying for a bloated civil service, you see.

When you imprison innocent people as bargaining chips in a power- game, Zimbabwe is not working.

When you arrest a ministerial nominee on shaky charges and to score political points, Zimbabwe is not working.

When your city water supplies are condemned by international scientists as Zimbabwe's was this week, Zimbabwe is not working.

When you mollycoddle dictators and promise them impunity, when you bargain for Gukurahundi culprits to enjoy peaceful retirement without even having to face a Truth Commission, Zimbabwe is not working.

When you are forced to buy trinkets you don't need in supermarkets and other shops because you are using a curency that is not yours (and hence you have no loose change), Zimbabwe is not working.

I could go on and on. The fundamental reinvention of Zimbabwe, needed to ensure long-term prosperity, is what Simba Makoni means when he says Zimbabwe mut work again. Not expanding an already bloated civil service and spending a whooping US$15 million a month on government salaries alone.

Currying favour, paying a soldier a paltry US$100 per month (while his family dies of cholera because there is still no money to buy water treatment chemicals) is not getting Zimbabwe to work again.

It appears that this new government has the same grasp of economics as Mugabe does: spend what you do not have, have faith in Jesus and manna (money) will fall from the heavens to replenish the coffers.

Britiain has just told Zimbabwe to get suffed, the Americans are pretending this government does not exist and Europe is strengthening sanctions.

Where is Biti going to find money to make this last? Or does he not care?

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  1. Is this available for Zimbabwe?


    "Brazil may drop dollar for transactions"
    Thu, 19 Feb 2009 01:50:02 GMT

    President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
    Brazil is keen to see transactions between South American states take place using national currencies, without recourse to the US dollar.

  2. It's wonderful that you are able to blog about this and share what is happening in your country. Too many people don't realize the nightmare it has become. I pray it recovers soon.


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