Biti outlines MDC Alliance economic agenda

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti

HARARE – The MDC Alliance has said it will present a detailed economic blue print in the near future, former Finance minister Tendai Biti has said.

Speaking at the Bulawayo launch of a pre-election pact involving seven political organisations on Saturday, the opposition PDP president said a grand plan will be part of the package of the grand coalition.

“The alliance we are forming must offer deliverables to the people of Zimbabwe, a tangible programme to the people of Zimbabwe. The first thing we will do is to write a programme of action on the economy, we will present the document to the people of Zimbabwe,” Biti said.

He highlighted that the experience gained by team members in the alliance during the tenure of the Government of National Unity would ensure the coalition delivers jobs.

During this period which was around four years, the economy grew on an average of 7 percent annually. In 2011, the economy grew by 11 percent in GDP terms making it the fastest growing economy in the world. Biti was recognised as the best Finance minister on the African continent for the achievement.

“We have friends, we have comrades, we have countries that trust us to allow their companies to come and invest in our country,” he said.

He said with the GDP at $12 billion, it means growing the economy at the rate of 7 percent per annum; means a $100 billion dollar economy is achievable within 15 years.

According to Biti, the Alliance would also prioritise attending to the infrastructure in the country.

“We have an energy crisis in Zimbabwe, the people of Zimbabwe are subjected to blackouts, I want to promise on behalf of the Alliance that we can create 4 000 megawatts of electricity starting from Victoria Falls,” he said.

Zimbabwe power generation is currently around 1 000 MW, less than half its peak demand, forcing local industries to use costly diesel generators to keep operations running.

“Our road network in Zimbabwe adds up to 88 000 kilometres but only 10 percent of those roads are paved. Zimbabwe is now the pothole capital of Africa worse off than countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo. On behalf of the Alliance, I want to say we will make a difference on the state of our roads,” he said.

Biti also outlined the Alliance’s commitment to the social agenda, lamenting the state of public hospitals and schools in Zimbabwe.

He highlighted the need for transforming the people’s lives after alleged failure by the Zanu PF government to deliver since independence.

“As one of the leaders of the Alliance, I am at pains to reconcile with the fact that a majority of our people are still using the bush as a bathroom 37 years after independence. In countries like Rwanda, grass-thatched huts are now history.

“This Alliance will deal with the issue of rural underdevelopment. Mugabe’s achievement was to ensure we remain poor. His biggest achievement was to under develop the black person; the black man and the black woman.

“On behalf of the Alliance, I want to make a promise, I want to make a pledge that the defining characteristic of the Alliance is that it will deliver because what brings us here is the quest to make a difference, the quest to create change, the quest to bring transformation for the people we love so much, the people we are prepared to die for,” he said.

He appealed to Zimbabweans and democrats to be cognisant of the fact that the people of Zimbabwe are suffering, therefore, must be in support of unity so as to give the people a chance.

“This unity cannot and should not be a cause for disunity,” he said.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai echoed the same sentiments; saying political actors must not be divided around ethnicity. – Daily News