Zimbabwe headed for tough 2014: Tsvangirai

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FORMER prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday said Zimbabwe should expect a tough 2014 due to the economic and political challenges facing the country and called for fresh elections.
“2014 is going to be a tough year as evidenced by the economic paralysis. The national picture is saddening,” he said in his first major address on the economy since his defeat to President Robert Mugabe in July elections last year.
The MDC-T leader said the 2014 budget presented recently to Parliament was a “non-event” as government failed to allocate funds to halt deindustrialisation, with 300 companies reportedly closing every week.
“The budget is a huge fallacy with no meaningful resources to fund it,” he said.
Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa announced a $4.4 billion budget with 75 percent expected to be gobbled by civil servants’ salaries.
Tsvangirai also criticised the government for pinning economic revival on the informal sector.
“No economy has been driven and spearheaded by the informal sector,” he said.
The opposition leader said there was need to mobilise funds for the productive sector and to review the indigenisation law to attract foreign direct investment and overseas development assistance.
The empowerment law requires foreign-owned companies cede 51 percent of their shares to local blacks.
“We also need to call for more transparency on minerals especially diamonds,” he said, adding that corruption was one of the biggest threats to the country.
He said the country was plunging back to the pre-2008 economic crisis and called for a national solution.
“We are in this ship together, if we don’t solve it, we will sink together. We have a national burden to resolve this issue,” he said.
Tsvangirai also said the country was facing a crisis of governance and legitimacy and called for a fresh election to address the challenges facing the country.
Tsvangirai, who rejected President Mugabe and Zanu PF victory saying it was fraudulent, said there was need for political dialogue and social reforms to usher in a new election.
“Our situation demands sincere dialogue with all stakeholders. It will help in developing national consensus on how to move the country forward,” he said.Advertisement