Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa, whose party said it will pile pressure on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to step down this coming year and hand over to Chamisa whom they claim to be the winner of the 30 July elections, today said he was relaxing at his rural home in Gutu.
He said he wished he could say Merry Christmas to the nation but it was a sorry Christmas for many.
“I’m relaxing at my home in rural Gutu. I just love the wisdom from the elders, stories from the community and fresh air this side!” he tweeted.
“Just wishing you blessings and peace this festive season! I wish I could say merry Christmas but it’s a sorry Christmas for many. Spread the love!”
Chamisa was at Mbare Musika yesterday to see people going to their rural homes and attracted a huge crowd, which some of his supporters said as a reflection that he was the real president of the country and not Mnangagwa.
With six days to go before the new year, it will be interesting to see if his argument will continue to hold.
Right now he seems to be holding on to the forlorn hope that the present economic crisis will persist as he argues that the crisis is due to Mnangagwa’s illegitimacy.
But events in Parliament last week showed that Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front can do anything in the House if they want to.
ZANU-PF legislators helped to push the 2019 budget through despite strong resistance on the two percent tax from the MDC.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, who was considered an outsider when he was appointed to the cabinet in September, seems to be showing that he knows what he is doing and is not just a “lecturer” as some people wanted to portray.
He also seems to have the backing of the ruling party now, but it might take time to repair the damage to the economy over the past six or so years.
MDC vice-chairperson, Tendai Biti, who is touted as one of the best Finance Ministers Zimbabwe has ever had, admitted last week that the country was in recession from the time he was minister.
“Our people do not have disposable income, 95% of our people are unemployed, and 79% of our people are living in extreme poverty, surviving on less than USD1.25cents per day,” he said during his contribution to have the two percent tax scrapped.
“For all intents and purposes we are in a recession. We have had a decline in GDP since 2012 that is more than two successive quarters. There is no aggregate demand and up until recently, 1st October 2018, this economy was in fact arrested by stagflation – low inflation.
“From 2009 to 2018 October, our inflation was around 1%, 2%; all those are signs of an economy that is in a recession. They are signs of an economy that is in fact graduating from a recession to a depression.
“When you are in a recession, you create a mechanism where you give disposable income to people so that you basically the economy spend its way out of that recession. So, the solution is not to increase taxes, the solution is to cut taxes so that people have got money to spend and when they have got money to spend it creates multipliers that reverberate in the economy and the economy gets stimulus.
“So, the Minister is doing the opposite of what he ought to be doing now. He ought to be cutting taxes but on the contrary he is increasing taxes.
“Thirdly Mr. Speaker, the problem with Zimbabwe is not that we do not have revenues. The Minister collects at least 500 million dollars per year. Our challenge is not of revenue collection but of expenditure management and expenditure use. Vakomana ava vanodya mari kunge mushonga wemusana, and that is the problem.”