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'We ran economy well, figures speak for themselves' - economy is not half of it, mess speaks volume

01 Jul 2019 at 07:39hrs | Views
"If you look at the Zimbabwean crisis in the last 20 years, the Central Bank has been at the epicentre of the distortions. Some of you might not know that during the GNU we didn't have the central bank. Yes, it was there at number 180 Samora Machel (RBZ building) but in reality was not operational," boasted MDC VP, Tendai Biti.

"Government accounts were kept at the CBZ who treated us like a commercial client. So, I couldn't run an overdraft facility because John Mangudya (now RBZ Governor) would say 'Minister you can't do that'.

"Government accounts were only moved to Central Bank in April of 2014, but we survived, and we ran the economy well. The figures speak for themselves."

The truth is the Zimbabwe economy had ground to a halt because of the hyper inflation, political chaos and other reasons. Scrapping the Z$ brought down the hyperinflation from 500 billion % to single digit. Sadly no meaningful political reforms were implemented in five years and hence the reason the economy never really recovered, companies did not reopen, for example.

The primary task of the GNU was to implement the democratic reforms and thus dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship, the root cause of the political chaos. Tendai Biti and company failed to get even one meaningful reform implemented in five years and the only reason for it was that MDC leaders sold-out.

It is no secret that Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office, the ministerial limos, the generous salaries and allowances, a $4 million Highlands mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. And in return, MDC leaders kicked the reforms out of the window.

If MDC leaders had implemented the reforms during the GNU the 2013 elections and last year's elections would have been free, fair and credible. Indeed, MDC leaders have continued to participate in elections even when they knew Zanu PF was rigging the elections.

"The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn't now do the obvious – withdraw from the (2013) elections," wrote Senator David Coltart, in his book.

"The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility."

It was a feeble excuse because four of the main MDC factions did merge before last year's elections and they still participated in these elections knowing fully well Zanu PF was rigging the elections. Zanu PF did not even produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll and still MDC participated regardless.

"Legitimacy is an issue - last year's elections were illegal, and not free and fair. All reasonable observers concede that," admitted David Coltart last week.

Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti, David Coltart and the rest of the MDC leadership have been calling for the holding of a political dialogue with Mnangagwa which culminate in power sharing transition authority, comparable to the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Just another foolish idea from MDC for three reasons:

1. If we agree that last year's elections were "illegal, and not free and fair", which is a historic fact, then an illegal process cannot produce a legitimate result. Neither Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF nor Chamisa and his MDC can claim to be legitimate ruling party or opposition party respectively. It is laughable that the two political parties can now be so presumptuous and arrogant as to believe they can declare themselves legitimate and share the spoils of political office, especial when it was them who had conspired to rig the elections and deny the people the vote.

Political legitimacy is derived from winning the popular vote in a free, fair and credible elections. This is a principle at the very heart of democratic elections and one that must never ever be compromised particularly by those with the propensity to rig elections.

2 Whilst there were significant short-term improvements in the economic situation following the formation of the 2008 GNU, there will be no such improvements this time because economic realities are different. There were no medium and long term economic recovery last time because the underlying political problems were never addressed; the same will happen again this time.

3 Whilst MDC leaders have said one of the tasks of the TA will be implement the reforms; it must be noted that the two political parties were in the 2008 GNU and they failed to get even one reform implemented; there is nothing to suggest this will happen this time.

Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because the country has been stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and vote rigging Zanu PF complete with an equally corrupt and useless MDC. The only sure way to get out of the mess is by making sure the country has a competent, accountable and legitimate government. Zanu PF must step down to allow the implementation of the reforms, the pre-requisite for free, fair and credible elections.

"We ran the economy well, the figures speak for themselves!" For the umpteenth time Tendai Biti; Zimbabwe's political and economic mess will never be resolved by addressing the economic problems alone whilst ignoring the underlying political problems of bad governance! You need to look at the bigger picture, it tells a totally different reality - a nation stuck in a vicious cycle and sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss. The economic mess and political paralysis speak volumes for themselves!

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