Gutu, April 14, 2014 – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says Zimbabwe’s economy has deteriorated to such catastrophic levels that it is just a matter of time before President Robert Mugabe comes “running” to him for assistance.
Addressing a large gathering of villagers at the weekend who attended a memorial service for the late father of recent MDC returnee, Job Sikhala, a highly-charged Tsvangirai declared that he was the solution to the country’s crisis and that Mugabe would soon have no choice but to beg him for help.
“Mugabe knows very much that I am the solution to the crisis. I will not go to him to beg him to resolve the problems the country is facing. The country is now on its knees and Mugabe knows that he needs me to deal with this. He needs the MDC and Zanu PF is aware of that,” he said.
Tsvangirai said Zanu PF had fooled itself and the country when the party celebrated a “dubiously-won election” through its bhora mugedhi slogan as the country’s coffers were now “completely” dry.
“They were busy celebrating bhora mugedhi but there is now no dollar mubhegi (people have no money). People are struggling to survive because the economy is deteriorating. We need to solve this and Zanu PF cannot do that without me,” he added.
The MDC leader allayed fears among his supporters in the rural areas that his party was disintegrating following its recent leadership disharmony, which recently resulted in the summary expulsion of deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, national executive member, Last Maengahama, as well as youth assembly secretary-general Promise Mkwananzi.
He described his party’s “cockpit” problems as “minor challenges” compared to the crises that were being faced by rivals Zanu PF.
“Our party might face some challenges but they are just minor and cannot be compared to what our rivals are facing. Zanu PF is far worse than us as we speak now and we will get out of this and bring change to the country,” Tsvangirai declared.
Tsvangirai also called on all MDC founders to “come back into the fold” to complete the change agenda that they had set when they formed the party in 1999.
“I am happy today we celebrate the life of the man who brought a vibrant young man to this earth to fight dictatorship and replace it with democracy. We had our differences with him but today we are here with Job Sikhala to complete what we started together in 1999, that is, to bring positive change to the suffering people of this country,” he said.
Economic analysts have observed that the country’s economy went into a steep nose-dive soon after Zanu PF’s disputed electoral victory last year.
To this end, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange lost a whopping $1 billion in value just a mere week after the July 31 elections, with no end in sight to the grim bear market.
The analysts attribute this precipitous market decline to Zanu PF’s populist policies such as those on indigenisation, which they say should be either revised or scrapped altogether to bring back investor confidence in the country.
Hundreds of companies have closed shop since the beginning of this year alone, with thousands of desperate workers losing their means to a livelihood in the process.
This has led to current unemployment rates hovering above 80 percent, and worsening, after the government gazette recently announced the de-registration of 176 companies, while another 634 might be de de-registered in the next three months.
As a result of all this dire economic prognosis, a significant number of workers have gone for long periods without pay, while civil servants are up in arms with government over delayed pay increases.
Concomitant with all these difficulties, the delivery of essential social services is also almost on its knees as both national and local government fail to provide basic necessities like water, healthcare services and a functional education system.