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No, Mr Biti, you are not a jack of all trades

21 Jul 2021 at 07:47hrs | Views
A week ago, the local mainstream and social media were abuzz with news of MDC Alliance (MDCA) faction co-vice president, Tendai Biti's rantings against the International Monetary Fund (IMF's) report on Zimbabwe.

Biti's utterances followed the IMF's conclusion of a staff monitoring programme that ended mid last month. On reading the headlines, one could clearly see that Biti was angry at the institution for issuing a fair report on Zimbabwe. Those who are familiar with Biti as a politician and the politics of the MDCA faction know that the opposition never rejoices when good things happen or are said about Zimbabwe.

It is now a norm that each time they complain it is because good things would have happened to the country and Zimbabweans. Biti was irked by the IMF staff team leader Dhaneshwar Ghura's positive remarks about the progress that Zimbabwe had registered in resuscitating the country's economy following two decades of regression and stagnation under the previous administration.

Biti could have been worked up by Ghura's remarks that "Zimbabwe has shown resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and other exogenous shocks."

The opposition official was further offended when Ghura submitted that "real gross domestic product (GDP) (is) expected to grow by about 6 percent, reflecting a bumper agricultural output, increased energy production, and the resumption of greater manufacturing and construction activities."

Although the positive report did not translate into immediate credit lines to rescue the economy and all Zimbabweans, especially in view of the illegal and debilitating sanctions against ordinary people, every citizen would be expected to derive joy from the news.

This is because the report indicated that Government's efforts to turn around the economy are not only bearing fruit, but are being noticed by the people and organisations that matter. However, Biti, who Zimbabwean social media users have renamed the "Archbishop of Anger" due to his ever angry temperament viewed things differently.

Biti is a typical Westernhandled opposition official who wholeheartedly subscribes to the US' views that it should make Zimbabwe's economy scream and turn citizens against Government. It is, therefore, not surprising that when his faction's leader, Nelson Chamisa, lost to President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the July 30, 2018 presidential poll, his reaction was that his opposition outfit would "mobilise more sanctions" so that Zanu-PF "won't get a penny."

In his usual fit of baseless rage, Biti ended up accusing the IMF of working with Government and Zanu-PF party to author the report. Again, this was not surprising.

In the MDCA faction, whoever disagrees with its leadership is labelled a Zanu-PF project. Biti, like most of his colleagues, is obsessed with the MDCA faction propaganda and shameless lies to the extent that he forgot that he was addressing an international and professional organisation, which has nothing to do with local politics. Despite being a lawyer of many years, Biti showed that he is an immature politician, who cannot separate politics from national interests.

At the end of the day, his rantings exposed him more than they reflected negatively on Ghura and the IMF as he intended.  Biti accused the IMF of being dishonest, na├»ve and helping Zanu-PF. He further described the IMF managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, as being not as smart as her predecessor, Christine Lagarde.

It is laughable that Biti talked of a nonexistent direct relationship between Zanu-PF and the IMF in a bid to discredit the global body. Zanu-PF is the ruling party.

The IMF deals with the Zanu-PF through the Government as it does with other countries of the world.  There is no way that the Party deals with the IMF directly as Biti desperately wished the world to believe. This exposed Biti as scrapping the bottom of the barrel of desperation.

In a bid to besmirch the IMF, it is him who emerged mud-spattered by his own angry tirade. Biti's rant exposed how the MDCA faction is more interested in securing power than the success of the nation. The faction does not want a successful Zimbabwe.

The MDCA wants to continue to ascribe economic hardship to Zanu-PF to make up for its own lack of meaningful policies and programmes. The level of self-hate in the name of fighting Zanu-PF among members of the MDC A faction is out of this world. In the past, Biti is one person who liked quoting from global organisations like the IMF and criticising it unfairly exposed him.  

One of Biti's problems is perpetuating the lie that he is the best Minister of Finance Zimbabwe has ever had.  Yes, his tenure was characterised by relative economic stability.

However, that is attributable to the dollarisation of the economy, a decision which had already been taken by the previous Cabinet and announced by the then Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa in January 2009.

Biti seems to be conveniently forgetting that he was just a political appointee to a Ministry whose day to day running was overseen by the then Permanent Secretary, Willard Manungo. Here is an opposition lawyer who was just appointed to a powerful Cabinet position and now thinks that he is enough of an economics expert to lecture, harangue and harass the IMF and its officials.

Biti cannot be a jack of all trades unless he thinks of himself as a superhuman. He is not an economist, period. And should leave economic matters to those who matter in that field. The US may praise him just because he understands a little bit of the local economy compared to his boss, Chamisa, but that does not make him an economic expert. Seeing that the IMF stunt earned him more brickbats at worst and apathy at best, Biti was at it again last Sunday.

This time around he presented an hourlong video on his faction's YouTube channel, ChangeTV, with a presentation dubbed "Unpacking the Pandemic of Corruption in Zimbabwe." Predictably, it was a damp squib. The only new thing that many will readily remember about the presentation was Biti's face without spectacles.

Biti just regurgitated his usual unproven charges of corruption against Government officials and played his master's voice regurgitating accusations against businessman, Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei, of looting from Government. So usual was his presentation that very few local media houses found anything worth reporting on.

The NewsDay was only excited by Biti's description of Government officials as "roving bandits" that it used to build its small article of  July 19 2021 entitled "Ruling elite roving bandits: Biti" on the phrase. The only things that online media publication, found new in Biti's presentation were claims that leasing one's farm is a form of corruption.

The other was that the US$5.3billion deal to compensate white former farmers, which was signed in July last year, would allegedly be used by senior Zanu-PF members to loot from Government. One wonders how the mostly black Zanu-PF members will present themselves to Government as white former farmers to claim compensation for land lost to the Land Reform Programme over 20 years ago.

This is the kind of opposition that Zimbabweans have to deal with. As the preparations for 2023 gather momentum with calls for voter registration growing louder each day, it is time that the electorate chooses politicians and political parties to support. Citizens need to choose between those that are working for the good of the nation and those which celebrate the electorate's suffering.

The electorate needs to make wise choices between those political parties that are prepared to sacrifice them on the altar of sanctions induced economic challenges for power's sake and those that are prepared to be placed under sanctions for working for their country and its people.

Source - the herald
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