“ZANU PF has destroyed all jobs. Betting shops are now the new occupation for thousands of people. Honestly we cannot play feja feja with the economy,” opposition People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti has said.
The former finance minister was addressing some 3,000 supporters at the party’s first anniversary celebrations at the White City Arena in Bulawayo on Sunday.
He continued: “Some 36 years after independence, the government can’t pay civil servants salaries with 97% from taxes being used to pay the salaries.
“The industry is dead in Bulawayo with factories now churches. Mugabe has caused so much pain by killing the people’s hope.”
Zimbabwe has struggled with a serious economic crisis for more than a decade which Mugabe blames on sanctions imposed by Western countries while rivals and critics insist that the country has been ruined by his incompetency.
Unemployment is said to be more than 90 percent with most industries forced to shut down while the few still running have drastically scaled back their operations.
Despite vowing an economic boom when Mugabe was re-elected in 2013, Zanu PF has struggled to deliver on the promise with finance minister Patrick Chinamasa putting into stark perspective the dire state of the economy in his budget review last week.
“We need to transform the economy. The PDP, can and will create a million jobs. In PDP, we have people with strategies to save Zimbabwe,” said Biti.
“We want to attract billions of dollars in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In a new dispensation under PDP, we will have a country full of investment.
“We have the necessary international support to bring billions of dollars to Zimbabwe. We don’t want much; we just want change, freedom and a government that loves its people.”
Fed up with struggling to survive, Zimbabweans have lately taken to the streets to protests against the worsening economic situation while the opposition is working towards putting up a united challenge against Mugabe in 2018 elections.
The PDP celebrations were attended by representative other opposition parties such as Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, Joice Mujuru’s ZimPF as well as PF Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa.
“It is … not an accident that we have here for the anniversary celebrations, Zapu, ZimPF and the MDC-T. Together another Zimbabwe is indeed possible,” said Biti.
“Doing the same things over and over will not get us new results. We want a new narrative in politics that of coalitions and unity. We are tired of slogans that achieve nothing. We have moved to bread and butter issues.”
He said Zimbabweans had now lost patience with the incompetent Zanu PF administration.
“Tajamuka, we no longer want Zanu PF rubbish. If there are any CIOs (Central Intelligence Organisation) present – go and tell Mugabe that hatichada and hatichatya.
“In the PDP, we are fighting for the recognition of human rights and the Constitution among other things. Our Constitution provides for the right to demonstrate,” he said.
Biti however insisted that electoral reforms must be implemented ahead of the key 2018 vote.
“In PDP we are calling for a biometric voters’ roll. We are demanding the demilitarization of the electoral process.
“We are calling for global observers and for the immediate release of the results. We are sick and tired of Zanu PF reproducing votes before the publishing of the results.”