By Robert Tapfumaneyi
GOVERNMENT’s decision to scrap the multi-currency regime that had worked for a decade was a mistake, former Finance Minister and MDC vice president Tendai Biti has said.
Biti was addressing a party campaign rally ahead of this weekend’s by-election in Harare’s Glen View South constituency.
“They removed the US dollar, why remove it without conditions to bring back your own currency? You do not have foreign currency reserves,” Biti told party supporters last weekend.
“GDP this year will be in -14 percent, inflation is back and now stands at 700%, look at the price of petrol and bread.”
Prices of fuel have been going up on a weekly basis and Biti argued this was a sign of failure.
“Where in the history of the country have you seen a country that raises the price of petrol weekly.
“So in MDC we want to make it very clear; we are going to restore the US dollar as the currency of this country. We are also going to remove Mthuli Ncube (Finance Minister)’s taxes, there is no such economics in the world where if you want money you overtax your citizens,” said the former Treasury chief.
“Zimbabwe is now the most over taxed country in the world.”
Biti said since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over from the now late former President Robert Mugabe in 2017, he has taken the country back to 1931.
“The Zimbabwe population is suffering from a man-made disaster created by Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
“85% of Zimbabweans are living in extreme poverty surviving on less than US0. 35C,” he said.
“In Mutare where I was last week, they are no longer having sadza because the bucket of maize is now going for $30 and even here in Glen View. No Zimbabwean is now able to have a plate of sadza because of the cost of living is now very high.”
He added: “Schools are opening next week and most schools have raised their fees, at home residents are experiencing 18 hours of load shedding. Never in the history of this country have people suffered the way we are suffering today.”