Reporters and Editors instructed to attack Biti's Budget

Harare- Robert Mugabe's State media editors and business reporters were on Friday summoned to the Ministry of Information for instructions on castigating finance minister’s 2011 budget to be presented on Thursday.

A business reporter from one of the state newspapers who attended the Friday meeting said they were given instructions to negatively attack finance minister Tendai Biti’s budget.
The instructions have been initiated by ZANU PF’s functionaries’ feelings that Biti did not address their interests in the economic blue print.

“We were told to write in attack of minister Biti’s failure to address sanctions, opening of credit lines, resumption of vote of credit with international financial institutions, and failure of his much hyped support from international donors in the 2010 budget.

It seems ministry officials already have the budget document to be presented on Thursday,” said the source. 

The state media has already opened attacks on him with The Sunday Mail November 21 business headline screaming “Biti’s 5 loaves and 2 fish”.

Biti faces a Herculean task to appease various sectors of the economy and his opposite counterparts in ZANU PF who feel he has not done enough to attract foreign credit lines.

In his 2010 budget, Biti had stated that the international community was going to pour in $800 million for the fiscal year but this has not materialized due to Zimbabwe’s political situation and high credit risk.

Neighbors Botswana and South Africa had pledged credit support but this has not materialized.

Civil servants are also expectant for the change of fortunes in their paltry salaries ranging between $150 and $200.

Efforts in raising funds from the domestic markets are being scuttled by industry under utilization standing at between 30 to 45 percent.

Observers say solutions are premised on the stability of the political situation in Zimbabwe which has in recent past reneged due to tensions in the inclusive government.

The credit crunch and government bankruptcy could also be overcome if resources from the sale of Chiadzwa diamonds were being managed transparently.

Diamond mining at Chiadzwa has been dogged by controversy with a lot of hawks wanting to deep their mouths in the precious resource thereby prejudicing the country of much needed revenue. -Zimbabwe ZimEye