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GNU has failed the nation — Makoni

MAVAMBO Kusile/Dawn (MKD) interim president Simba Makoni has accused the Government of National Unity (GNU) leaders of seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of collapsing social services.

Makoni, who contested and lost the March 2008 presidential election, expressed dismay that GNU leaders, including the principals, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara spent US$28 million on foreign travel since coming into office, yet refused to fund life-saving institutions such as hospitals.
“They spent so much travelling, criss-crossing the world at a time when the Harare Central Hospital needed and still needs US$403 000 for the operation theatre. It was also at a time when the future of this country could not (afford to) go to school,” said Makoni at the Quill Club in the capital on Wednesday night.
The US$28 million Makoni was referring to was mentioned by Finance minister Tendai Biti earlier this month when he threatened to name and shame globetrotting leaders bleeding the treasury.
Makoni, a former Finance minister, told journalists that many who had high expectations of the MDC were despairing because “they (MDC) were moving rapidly to join the gravy train”.
The economy, national healing and constitutional reforms were all being affected by non-delivery, he said.
“While supermarkets are now full of goods, we all know that they are full of imported goods,” Makoni said, laughing off GNU leaders’ statements that packed supermarkets were proof of some of the coalition government’s successes.
This, he said, showed how Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara’s coalition had failed to kick-start local industry.
Local industry has languished at 30% productivity under the GNU, whose policy inconsistencies have scared off potential foreign investors.
“How can we boast that we are solving the problems of the people of Zimbabwe while we are putting them out of jobs?” asked Makoni. “To add insult to injury, the people of Zimbabwe do not have the capacity to generate the Obamas (United States dollars).”
Makoni, one of the few former top Zanu PF officials to contest an election, said the GNU was yet to implement a workable national healing and reconciliation programme.
While the country was more peaceful than in 2008 when a military-led election campaign resulted in the burning of homes, assaults and reports of amputations, Makoni said most rural areas were still “intimidated, arrested and molested”.
“National healing has not started. The so-called inclusive government has created an awkward organ (National Healing and Reconciliation). It is awkward because it is made up of three individuals and they have no strategic framework, no policy framework and there is no target of attainment and achievement and there is no process of national healing that has started,” he said.
Makoni described the constitutional reform process as chaotic and driven by partisan political agendas.


Leonard Makombe

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