Biti says if you wake up Mbuya Nehanda today she would think it is still her era because nothing has changed


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Opposition legislator Tendai Biti yesterday said if Mbuya Nehanda were to wake up today she would think Zimbabwe was still in her era because nothing had changed.

Contributing to the debate on the need for Zimbabwe to manufacture its own transformers, Biti said Zimbabwe was endowed with natural resources but these were being wasted.

Zimbabweans had allowed politics to dominate their discourse at the expense of development.

“We have 63 minerals. We have gold, diamonds, platinum, chrome and now we have lithium all of world class standard but what do we have to show for that? We have nothing, zero,” he said. 

“We are suffering yet our legs are inside the mineral mines. We have the Great Dyke, which is one of the richest granite formations in the world. It stretches over 575 kms from

Mberengwa all the way to Mhangura. You can get anything on the Great Dyke. Now lithium is coming out everywhere like goblins but we have nothing to show for that.” 

Biti said Zimbabweans had normalised the abnormal. 

“If you drive into a pothole you think it is okay. If a person is involved in an accident and dies because of a pothole, it is seen as dying in God’s time. God is not a God of poverty. So, we should be fatalistic and we have lowered standards so much. We deserve better and with that, we demand better.”

He said Zimbabweans had allowed politics to dominate debate at the expense of development.

“I submit Mr. Speaker Sir, that we allow politics to dominate our discourse (at) the expense of development. It is time that we find each other so that we can subordinate politics and talk about development issues. There is no reason why Zimbabwe cannot be an Asian tiger.” 

Full contribution:

HON. BITI: I want to acknowledge ZESA or ZENT for having created the capacity to ensure that we can locally manufacture transformers. The process however was done very opaquely and I want to refer to the Audit Report by Kudenga B.D.O on ZESA which for one

reason or the other the Public Accounts Committee was not allowed to debate because that report showed massive shenanigans, massive transfer pricing and transfer of resources to South Korea where Zimbabwe got the capacity and skills to manufacture our own transformers.

I see no reason why that nascent idea that was planted then should not have been actualised by making sure that we actually become a fully fledged transformer manufacturing country. This entails a number of policy measures at macro level. The Ministry of Finance is a key player as it gives the necessary duty free certificates that allow ZESA or ZENT to actually manufacture these machines.

Also, I do not know why students at tertiary universities and we had Hon. Minister Prof. Murwira with whom we had a lot of time in this House yesterday, why students doing electrical engineering at the University of Zimbabwe, NUST and MSU are not actually producing those things. You cannot be an electrical engineer without actually doing

something practical.

Continued next page 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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