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Biti to present state of the economy address

Opposition PDP president Tendai Biti  is due to present the State of the Economy Address (Sea) tomorrow in response to President Robert Mugabe’s uninspiring, puerile and damp squib State of the Nation Address delivered to Parliament on Tuesday.

Biti’s address comes a day after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa tables the 2017 National Budget statement to a joint sitting of the National Assembly outlining government’s spending plan.

“Central to the address shall be PDP’s alternative economic policy and the preferred democratic transition mechanism,” Gorden Moyo, the PDP secretary-general said yesterday.

This comes as Zimbabwe has descended into a hoodlum state from a beacon of revolutionary socialism.

The former Finance minister’s address, which organisers said will exhibit “thought leadership”, was expected to chart the path out of the current economic crisis through a mixture of policies drawn from PDP’s two policy documents, Holistic Programme for Economic Transformation (Hope) and the Agenda for Restoration and Rehabilitation of Electoral Sustainability (Arrest).

Arrest provides for the transition of a smooth electoral process to avert another acrimonious post-election dispute that could spill over into violence, as happened after the 2008 poll, when at least 200 MDC supporters were killed in the wake of a first-round defeat for Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980.

Arrest aims to restore the social fabric, harmonisation of laws and calls for free and fair elections, where a National Transition Authority (NTA) will oversee over the country.

Hope speaks to constitutionalism, job creation and building infrastructure.

The NTA will require about $4 billion while building infrastructure will need $12 billion, according to the PDP.

The fledgling opposition party said the economy was in a vegetative state and Zanu PF could not resuscitate it.

The government’s unpopularity and failed economic stewardship is benefiting the opposition by default, even in former Mugabe strongholds, with a massive anti-incumbent feeling amid indications the 92-year-old president and government have no interest in relinquishing power.

Biti’s Sea will be held at the Courtney Hotel in Harare at 1430hrs tomorrow and will be attended by the PDP national management committee and the national working committee; civil society; business executives; diplomats; and other opposition party leaders. Daily News