Biti Attacks Mthuli Over ‘Special Drawing Rights’ Reserves

MUTARE– Opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has accused the “new dispensation” for blowing millions of foreign currency reserves under the special drawing rights.

By Donald Nyarota

Addressing thousands of party  supporters over the weekend, MDC leadership said government has wiped a huge chunk of US$350 million raised during the Government of National Unit (GNU).

MDC vice president Tendai Biti said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development have over extended themselves by withdrawing from a special drawing rights facility.

Biti, who served as Finance minister during the GNU, said Zimbabwe was facing challenges in its macro-economic environment due to mismanagement of the monetary policy and a lack of confidence in the government.

“The country has no foreign currency reserves, the only reserves the country had were the  US$350 million which was left by Morgan Tsvangirai in Washington DC, during (GNU) called special drawing rights.

“Most of the funds have been wiped by Mthuli Ncube (Minister of Finance) and only US$2 million is left in  the account, so without foreign currency reserves you can’t introduce a new currency.

“A national currency can only be backed by confidence, people have no confidence in the Zimbabwean dollar because Zanu PF stole an election, therefore the biggest crisis we are facing is a crisis of legitimacy,” said Biti.

He added, “So in introducing the Zimbabwean dollar without reforms the exchange rate was going to shoot up because they did not meet the conditions to introduce a local currency.”

Biti also laid into the government for stealing directly from government using the controversial command agriculture program introduced by government in August 2017 as a conduit for corrupt activities.

He said the new dispensation has stolen directly from government coffers using command agriculture, the black market, fuel and mining activities.

“Corruption is another big threat to our economy as a country, in 2017 US$2.9 billion was stolen directly from government, in 2018 US$3.2 billion was stolen directly from government.

“This year, they have already siphoned US$4 billion before the year is out, by the end of the year they could reach US$6 billion, they are siphoning foreign currency using the black market, command agriculture, fuel and through mining diamonds, platinum, chrome and diamonds.

“The other challenge that  we have as a country is the lack of productivity, and there is only one man who can bring foreign direct investment in this country and his name is Advocate Nelson Chamisa,” said Biti.

MDC leader. Nelson Chamisa, chose to address shortcomings within the MDC as he sounded a warning to non-performing Members of Parliament.

Chamisa said under the new thrust only members of the party’s lowest structures, the branch, will be considered for selection to represent the party at apex levels of the provincial and national executive committee.

“Our late leader Morgan Tsvangirai gave us a direction that we should follow as a party after realizing that our party was bloated at the top.

“In response, we have said we are going to emphasize more power to the lower structures of the party, that’s why we have a new thrust to build robust branches on the ground.

“Henceforth there will be no members elected to represent the party at any level without coming from the branch, no one will be in the provincial, national executive or president without coming from the branches,” said Chamisa.

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