Dabengwa, in his New Year’s message, said: “My fellow countrymen, 2016 has been a year of great difficulties that started and is ending with political uncertainty and a deteriorating economy.
“A few weeks ago, we were subjected to an address by President Mugabe purported to be a State of the Nation Address. That address left us none the wiser in terms of what is happening and how we shall get out of the mess,” Dabengwa said.
“Firstly, we are all aware that our problems are induced by political instability in the ruling regime and its failure to control looting of the country’s wealth and destruction of institutions and systems that would make the country viable. It is, therefore, important to stop the rot and to bring the country back on track.”
Dabengwa said it was apparent from Mugabe’s address that the regime had no viable solution to the problems facing the country at large and common people in particular.
“A short-term solution to halt this decay and lay a foundation for long-term peace and reconciliation is to negotiate a National Transitional Authority (NTA) to manage the shift of power from an incapacitated and increasingly dysfunctional dictatorship in preparation for democratic elections,” Dabengwa said.
“A democratic and all-inclusive body must manage the 2018 elections. Zanu PF alone cannot be trusted to manage that transition. Witness the deadly succession fights within that party. Joice Mujuru (ZimPF leader) admitted in an interview with eNCA last week to abuse of State machinery for manipulation of the electoral process. Hence, we call for the establishment of an NTA to manage the change.”
Dabengwa hailed Mugabe for publicly admitting that the chaotic land reform programme of 2000 caused unprecedented financial and economic ruin to the country.
“That unfortunately chaotic land grab and election ruse disguised as a reform programme has brought the country to its knees and torn the very fabric of our nationhood,” Dabengwa said.
“It has caused social upheaval that has seen an exodus of productive professionals to the Diaspora and the collapse of the primary manufacturing sector which is the foundation of exports and a favourable balance of payments.”
He challenged Mugabe’s government to account for the missing $15 billion diamond revenue, saying failure to do so would seriously dent the ruling party’s 2018 election campaign.
“Not satisfied with the robbery of such scale, because that is what it has to be unless the resources are recovered and accounted for, the government has looted the country’s nostro accounts and left the country bankrupt,” Dabengwa said.
“It is worth noting that the funds in the nostro accounts did not belong to the government, but were the earnings of the few hardworking corporations remaining in the country to pay for their international commitments.
“With limited access to hard cash for their luxurious trips and other conspicuous consumption, the government came up with an unsecured paper currency, appropriately named the bond currency.”
Dabengwa said the worthless currency was allegedly backed by an unconfirmed $200 million facility with Afrexim Bank to supposedly resuscitate manufacturing and boost the economy. He said the irony of a $4 billion economy needing a mere 5% of its net to resuscitate it was totally lost on Zanu PF.
“I dare say that if they were not greedy, Mugabe’s Cabinet can raise $1 billion between them and lend it to the country, without even bothering about the $15 billion that evaporated into thin air. After all, they stole it from Zimbabwe in the first place and surely their cut of the $15 billion is much more than a mere $1 billion. At least we would not be forced as a sovereign country to resort to a make-believe currency,” Dabengwa said.
“The Reserve Bank governor declared that this currency will solve the perennial cash shortages and subsequent queues at the banks. Instead, the advent of the bond notes has resulted in longer queues and fuel shortages.” By Silas Nkala. source-newsday