MDC-T Defends Biti On Strict Public Funds Accountability

Harare, – The Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party has defended its Secretary General Tendai Biti who is the Finance Minister in the inclusive government for resisting to randomly release funds from the treasury to Zanu (PF) officials as the party’s strategy to bring accountability and sanity in the use of tax payers’ funds.\r\n

Zanu (PF) is accusing Biti of sabotaging by underfunding some government departments. Since taking over the finance ministry in 2009 Biti has pursed tough cost cutting measures and in the process starving powerful sections such as the military of easy cash.

Zanu (PF) has also been accusing Biti of ignoring the agricultural sector which the revolutionary party uses for garnering support from the unfortunate rural folks.

“(Vanga vajaira  kudya mari sembwire mbwire. Makamboonepi vanhu vanotungamirira nyika vari mundege). They were used to squandering public funds through travel. Minister Biti has vehemently resisted to unconditionally dish out funds the way Zanu (PF) used to do before we (MDC) came on board. They were used to  spend and enjoy public funds like nobody’s business.

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Biti has said no to non accountability of using tax payers’ money. Every cent released from the treasury since we entered into this coalition government is being accounted for and this has not gone well with Zanu (PF),” MDC National Organising Secretary Nelson Chamisa said.

Chamisa said Zanu (PF) had refused to bring transparency in the Marange diamond field.

“On the issue of civil servants’ salaries we have said let’s see who is in Marange diamond fields and bring the proceeds to the treasury so that we pay our civil servants, but what did our partners say. We have not yet established who is doing business in Marange except knowing that there are some Chinese companies whose back ground is not known, and all this was and is being done for the purposes of stealing public funds,”Chamisa added.

MDC believes that the bombing of Biti’s residents at the weekend is linked to Zanu (PF) threats and complaints over his tough stance on releasing funds to departments which Zanu (PF) views as critical to its political advantage.

Last week President Robert Mugabe gave Biti an ultimatum to give civil servants a salary increase saying the issues was now a security threat.

The security sector which used to back President Robert Mugabe’s rule is part of the group which Mugabe said should be given more incentives. The department had become used to lavish funding under the veteran leader’s previous Zanu (PF) government and has publicly accused Biti of depriving funds in what some commanders’ claim is a ploy to weaken and destabilise the security forces.