Mugabe Publicly Labels Tendai Biti "Incompetent, Ignorant Unwilling"
MDC-Tsvangirai Secretary General and Zimbabwe's Finance Minister in the Coalition government, Tendai Biti, delivers the 2010 Budget in parliament on Wednesday. Mugabe has now publicly lashed out at Biti, whom he has been pushing Morgan Tsvangirai to fire or reassign, saying he was working against the interests of the country.
Harare Zimbabwe, 04 December 2009
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe, yesterday labeled the MDC-T Minister of Finance and Secretary-General unwilling to do his job or incompetent.
It is the first time that Mugabe has taken his fight with Tsvangirai over Biti (he wants Biti replaced as Minister of Finance) public.
The Zimbabwe dictator was speaking in Mutasa, Eastern Zimbabwe, where he addressed farmers. Although he did not name Biti specifically, it is now well-known in Zimbabwe that Biti has been accused even in Cabinet of trying to sabotage the 2010 agricultural harvest.
Of concern to Mugabe was Biti's "foot-dragging" over the supplies of subsidised inputs for the season, ranging from seed and fertiliser to tractors for tilling the land.
Soon after the MDC re-engaged ZANU PF and started attending Cabinet, Mugabe confronted Tsvangirai over Biti and the dispute spilled over into the second Cabinet meeting held after the return of the MDC-T to government.
It was as a result of that confrontation that Tendai Biti announced his decision to "urgently" ask the IMF to release US$50 million of the US$510 million allocated to Zimbabwe. He told the IMF that he needed the money to finance the 2009/2010 agricultural season.
Yesterday Mugabe said teh request by Biti for funds to boost inputs for the 2010 season was too late.
"Panoratidza kuti panova nekunyeperana kana kuti vanhu vatakapa basa havana chavanoziva nezvebasa racho kana kuti havasikuda kuita basa racho," said Mugabe (Translated, it means: "It shows that we were fed lies or that the people responsible are completely ignorant and ignorant about their job or that they do not want to do the job given to them.)
Biti has been seen by most ZANU PF ministers and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono as the blocking the aid that was supposed to have been given to farmers this season. Gono, on Mugabe's instructions, had written to the IMF asking them to release some of the funds so that the agricultural season could be financed.
But the Zimbabwe Finance Minister and MDC Secretary-General wrote to the IMF asking them to disregard Gono's instructions. The Bretton Woods Institution, on the other hand, then responded to Gono telling him that they only take instructions from Ministers of Finance and not Central Bank Governors.
The speech by Mugabe yesterday shows that he is still smarting from what Biti did, but he can not fire him, even if he considers him incompetent. Only Tsvangirai can reassign or fire Tendai Biti and he has been resisting Mugabe's pressure to do this.
The Zimbabwe president yesterday also bemoaned the Inclusive Government, saying that he had got into it unwillingly. "We have this Inclusive Government because of last year's election results", he told the farmers. "Just because of hunger, you choose people who do not appreciate the war we fought? What has got into you? What has got into you? What has got into you," Mugabe asked three times, adding:
"We are, however, hopeful that people have realised the mistakes they made last year and would not want to do it again."