Newly elected Harare East legislator and interim Co-Vice President of the Citizens Coalition For Change (CCC), Tendai Biti has lambasted the government of President Mnangagwa over it’s handling of the economy, describing some of its policies as “a product of beerhall diretribe”.
The firebrand politician and Harare lawyer, described by many across the political divide as the best finance Minister Zimbabwe has had since independence accused the government of pursuing a paranoid, ill thought out and vindictive policy framework that he says will simply not work to resurrect the near comatose economy.
In a hard-hitting Twitter thread, Biti derided the government for what he termed “Broad sweeping statements& conclusions are made without evidence & data.”
We present the full Twitter thread below in verbatim:
1)The regime has announced a potpourri of contradictory, self defeating , punitive & vindictive measures with the intended aim of stopping or reversing the dramatic& rambunctious free fall of the Zimbabwean $ &the consequential inflationary spike experienced in the last two weeks
2)Truth is the measures are I’ll thought& reflective of a paranoid moribund incompetent regime that believes everything&everyone is an enemy&a saboteurA regime that blames everyone except itself for the humongous mess it has plunged Zim intoA regime that sees shadows everywhere
3) The dramatic fall of the exchange rate stems from the introduction of the Zim$ when the necessary preconditions were absent . It stems from a huge mismatch between supply & demand . It stems from the failure of the Dutch auction system. It stems from a huge budget deficit ..
4) ….monetized through the printing of money . It stems from corruption & the billions of Zim$ being pummeled into the system from illegal deals Given this only full & unmitigated re-dollarization provides a short term solution. Anything else , including regime s new measures…
5)….is an absolute joke and a sheer worst of time Policy making must never be allowed to be anecdotal or a product of beer hall diatribe . The new measures smack of that .Broad sweeping statements& conclusions are made without evidence & data. Major decisions are made without ..
6) … analysing the legalities of the measures or their consequences on the macro or micro level . We have always argued that this is the worst government in the history of governments & the latest measures prove that .
7) The key points of the new measures are as follows a) continuation of the Dutch auction system. b)Suspension of all lending by Banks. c) Suspension of major services by stock brockers.
8). …d) Increase in Capital Gains to 40% from 20 % on shares sold in less than 270 days e)2 % levy on US$ cash withdrawals above a $1000. f) Increase in IMMT tax on US$ transactions to 4 % & 2% on Zim $………
9) ..g) Retailers & businesses allowed to charge in US$ on a willing buyer willing seller exchange rate regime. h) US$ taxes to government now to be paid on the willing buyer willing seller exchange rate regime .
10 ) We now await the legal instruments necessary to effect the above measures .Save to say that massive litigation is inevitable. For instance it is blatantly unlawful to ban banks from lending when it is their core business The new taxes & proposed civil penalties are unlawful
11) The truth of the matter is that Zimbabwe deserves better . It deserves new leadership . Sure , #NgaapindeHakeMukomana
Tendai Biti is a top Harare lawyer and Member of the House of Assembly for Harare East constituency. He was the Minister of Finance in the Government of National Unity between 2009-2013.
His tenure as Finance Minister saw Zimbabwe’s economy recover from years of hyperinflation and de-industrialization. It was a blissful 5yrs where citizens enjoyed a very stable and predictable economic environment, with basic commodities available at largely affordable prices and businesses grew.
His mantra as the country’s treasury chief was “eat what you kill”, a theme that was based on hardwork and industry instead of patronage and entitlement.
He fostered a culture of frugality and sticking to budgetary allocations within government departments and the economy at large.
Many across the political divide regard him as arguably the best Finance Minister the country has had since independence.