ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP), an off-shoot of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has called for the immediate resignation of President Robert Mugabe to make way for a national transitional authority.
Party president Tendai Biti told a press conference in Harare on Thursday afternoon that the ruling Zanu PF party had presided over the collapse of the country’s economy, leaving 76 percent of the population living in extreme poverty and 91 percent without jobs.
“So as usual, Zanu PF is failing and we don’t expect anything better from them; which is why in the past we demanded their resignation and as we do now, demand the installation of a national transitional authority to address the challenges of the day,” he said.
Biti said while the PDP agreed with the international community that Zimbabwe needed reforms, they were sceptical about letting Zanu PF lead the process as it was not interested in transformation.
“Zanu PF is not capable of carrying out the sufficient reforms that are required to make this economy have a fundamental and structural turnaround. Our take on that is that, yes, Zimbabwe needs reform, and, yes, the International community should support reform; but in Zanu PF the international community have no reliable partner,” he said.
He said Zanu PF was only enticing the donor community as the party was desperate and their intention was to lay their hands on the monies that could potentially come from the International funding institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the rest of the international community.
“The first element of reforming is obviously to deal with the 550 000 government workers. During the time of the inclusive government, there were 235 000 public servants .These more than 200 000 ghost workers were recruited in the run-up to the 2013 elections,” he said.
Biti said it would be naïve for anyone in the international community to believe that Zanu PF would deal with those ghost workers as they were the machinery that helped them in stealing the 2013 elections.
“So, Zanu will not carry out the structural reforms that are required because to do so will be to dismantle the electoral infrastructure they used to steal the 2013 elections. The bottom line is that the reform process will collapse because there are simply no reformers in Zanu PF, in other words it is not possible to have reforms when there are no reformers,” he said.
The former Finance Minister in the Government of National Unity said the economic growth projection of 2.7 per cent by his predecessor, Patrick Chinamasa, was misleading as there had been a total collapse of output.
“We have no doubt the growth rate in 2016 will not be less than -3.5 per cent, deteriorating from our estimate of -1 per cent in 2015,” he said.
Biti also called for the total repeal of the country’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, saying it served no one except those who were politically connected.