FORMER Finance Minister, Tendai Biti on Thursday predicted the fall of President Robert Mugabe’s regime by 2016, insisting it was near impossible for the veteran leader to manage the current economic turmoil beyond the next four months.
Biti also rebuked the country’s ever-squabbling opposition and civic groups, saying their “collective idiocy” has allowed Zanu PF to lead the country astray.
The MDC Renewal Team’s leader was speaking during a SAPES Trust dialogue forum in Harare where he also predicted a catastrophic ending of the current Zanu PF infighting. Biti chastised finance minister Patrick Chinamasa for giving the nation false hope in his mid-term fiscal review statement last month.
Chinamasa gave the impression that government could still tame current deflation, a ballooning wage bill and also widen its shrinking revenue base.
“Things can’t go on as they are and if we think we are in trouble now, I can’t see the mitigation of the situation in the next four months come December of 2015,” Biti said.
“I think that in 2016, you will actually see an actual collapse of the government, reflected by its failure to honour many obligations including the public service wage bill.”
He added: “When you have this vulture scenario married to the fudging scenario where you move from month to month, you don’t know how wages have been paid, you don’t know why we still have electricity then you have got a problem. It will lead to one thing, the implosion.”
Biti however, ruled out an immediate return to normalcy in a post-Mugabe period, adding the 91-year-old’s likely successors were “vultures” with an equally insatiable appetite to plunder.
“There is no evidence at all that those who are likely to take over the management and control of the state are reformers, are democrats and will actually lead this country in a trajectory of inclusive development,” Biti said.
“If anything, I see many of them as undiluted vultures, people who are known with violence and have been associated with some of the most violent episodes in our country. Most importantly, I see most of them as serious extractionists, looters if you like.”
Under such a scenario, said the firebrand politician, a military coup which has remained a remote possibility under Mugabe could emerge.
“I see a continuation of the dangerous vulture scenario but with dangerous tendencies of an implosion which can take the form of a military coup,” he said.
The MDC founding politician said endless infighting among politicians, labour and civil society allowed Zanu PF room to destroy the country unhindered.
“I think the solutions are there. We are victims of our collective idiocy and our big hubristic egos and we are paying the price for that,” he said.
He had no kind words either for the country’s educated elite who have sat idle while politicians ravaged the once prosperous country.
“You the educated guys, you must take full responsibility because a lot of us in the political parties are absolute idiots; absolute morons. It’s about competing to be Zanu PF with Zanu PF and that doesn’t work.”
He said Zanu PF infighting was likely to take the route of Chinese, Russian and South East Asia in the yester-year where rulers emerged through violently eliminating potential competitors.
In Zimbabwe, Biti added, the current conflation between the military and Zanu PF was enough ammunition to spark a fatal resolution to the crisis.
“Guns will be there if the civil society and the opposition don’t create the sufficient buffer of a strong organised entity that will act as a buffer against the potential insanity that this country can be plunged in,” he said.