Biti Stole STERP From ZANU PF, Says Mugabe As Coalition Crumbles
BETTER DAYS: Tendai Biti is seen here with Mugabe and South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe when South African business leaders jetted in to talk investments with the Zimbabwe government.Now Mugabe has publicly humiliated Biti and the Prime Minister by saying STERP was drafted by ZANU PF before the Inclusive government was formed and simply handed to Biti when he took officePresident Mugabe and ZANU PF have now basically declared the GNU or Inclusive Government dead.Mugabe's party yesterday let it be known through the media that Tendai Biti did not draft STERP. Instead, it is claimed, the plan was drafted by the ZANU PF government prior to the MDC agreeing to go into the Government of National Untiy or Inclusive Government.Apparently, Biti was handed the document when he took over and "all he did was present it to Cabinet".You will also notice that the 100 Day Plan document itself does not carry pictures of the President and his two deputies.Although it details the laughable "plans" in each ministry, the Presidency was left out, suggesting either that the Presidency has no plans for the next 100 days or that Mugabe is keeping his plans secret.It is the later, of course.Technically, the Prime Minister is in charge of the policy formulation and implementation, but the spirit of inclusiveness should have seen Mugabe and his deputies volunteer their own plans for reorganising government.The true state of affairs in Zimbabwe is that ZANU PF and Mugabe have already made up their minds that the GNU is dead. Mugabe has said anyone who does not like the fact that Gono is staying can go and hang.He is certain that he will never back down.Which has also led to him being certain that the MDC are on their way out of the MDC-PF government. He fully expects them to walk.The confirmation of this state of affairs came yesterday in the state newspaper, The Herald.The newspaper publicly called the Prime Minister a liar, basically. It quoted his statements in recent times (including in South Africa) in which he claimed credit on behalf of the Coalition government for dollarisation, bringing inflation down and filling the shops with food.The paper, in a page-long feature, explained that dollarisation was introduced by Patrick Chinamasa in his budget speech as Acting Finance Minister. It debunked the inflation story by saying Gideon Gono, "four days later", introduced wholesale licencing for goods and services to be charged for in foreign currency.Shops, the paper pointed out, were already full of goods by the time the MDC agreed to join the Inclusive Government.It then goes on to paint an extremely dismissive picture of the measures taken by Tendai Biti and the Inclusive Government, including the claim that STERP was drawn up by ZANU PF and simply handed to Tendai Biti when he came into office. All he did was present it to cabinet, Mugabe's camp says.And this has not been disputed by Biti.As for the aid that is now coming in from African Banks, it is explained that the deals had already been done by Gideon Gono at the Reserve Bank and Biti simply concluded them. Again, this has not been disputed by the MDC.But the importance of all this lies in the indication it all gives that, clearly, Mugabe is now preparing for an election. He is campaigning.Yesterday, he obviously gave orders for the gloves to be taken off and for Tsvangirai to be exposed as having "done nothing" since assuming office.The paper also carries an opinion piece that says "No Reforms" at the Reserve Bank until sanctions are removed.There you have Mugabe's answer to the MDC Resolution.The dictator himself remains quiet as a mouse and simply moves pieces into place on the chessboard called government.It is now almost certain that by the time the MDC-T wakes up and the Prime Minister realises that Mugabe is, indeed, the problem, they would have been checkmated.This line on the economic turnaround will be drummed into people's heads relentlessly during any election. It will be repeated with every news bulletin.It is the only straw the MDC was hanging onto in terms of achievements in the Inclusive government so far. Mugabe wishes to blow that straw away.And with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission confirming yesterday that by-elections will be held for seats whose incumbents are dead or in jail or dismissed by his party, the stage is set.Nakedly, ZANU PF is going to abandon the pledge not to fight the MDC for MDC seats that fall vacant.The point of all this, really, is to give you a heads up. The signs are all there that this Coalition Government is now dead in the water.If the MDC get frustrated enough with not being able to appoint a Governor or an Attorney General that they think it wise to walk out, that indeed would be the end of the government.But the Prime Minister's party says it has no intention of walking. Which means Mugabe is going to get even more outrageous in the coming weeks. He is going to go out of his way to humiliate and frustrate the MDC.If they stay through all that, they will emerge at the end of this experiment the laughing stock of Africa and, more importantly, of the people of Zimbabwe.