Zim polls: Biti warns Mugabe, Tsvangirai

2012-10-30 13:57

Cape Town - Zimbabwe's finance minister Tendai Biti has urged President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to keep violence at bay ahead of forthcoming elections, warning that the economy would suffer terribly if there was a repeat of the 2008 bloodshed.

According to a DailyNews online report, Biti warned that Zimbabwe’s economy could decline by 8% per annum over the next five years if the country proceeded with a violent election year. He was speaking on the sidelines of a 2012 government workshop programme.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold presidential elections following the expiry of the fragile coalition government.

Biti's warning comes two weeks ahead of his 2013 budget presentation, which is likely to show a slowdown in economic growth due to political bickering.

Biti said political leaders should desist from violent election campaigns and called for "peaceful elections and incontestable election outcomes".

"What we are afraid of in Zimbabwe are elections that are to be held next year. And I am appealing to the principals to preach peace to their supporters during election campaigns," he said.

"If we continue with our political fighting we risk plunging the economy into an abyss. Studies have shown that all warring economies lose eight percent of their gross domestic product for the next five years."

Mugabe has repeatedly said elections should be held by March 2013, but Tsvangirai says while elections are definitely on next year, no actual date has been set.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-10-30 14:05

    when you go into the cubicle you will see 2 black boxes. if you vote for mugarbage you put your ballot in the one black box - if you don't - you will be put in the other black box... rumor has it that someone broke into mugabe's mansion and stole the next election results.. what a load of rubbish.

  • paul.santo.545 - 2012-10-30 14:23

    "warning that the economy would suffer terribly" how much worse can it get ?

  • zwartsj - 2012-10-30 14:58

    yah because up to now the zim economy has flourished with unprecedented growth

  • markus.botha - 2012-10-30 15:03

    bla bla bla...

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-10-30 15:11

    What a load of rubbish. The outcome is already decided. Another 5 years of "Unity" while the lot of them continue to get rich at the expense of the poor.

  • wilbert.mukori.5 - 2012-10-30 18:51

    People like Tendai Biti have to realize that they will have to come out in the open sooner or later: and stop all this double talk of calling for free and fair elections one minute and the next minute telling the people to vote for the COPAC draft constitution because it will deliver free and fair elections. By appealing to Mugabe to ensure the next elections are free of the usual violence Minister Biti is tacitly acknowledging that there is nothing in the COPAC draft to ensure there is no violence. Zimbabweans basic and fundamental right to a free vote it will be left to the whim of a ruthless dictator! But since Mugabe has no intention of losing the next elections that leaves the nation with a simple choice hand election victory to the dictator in a silver platter or he will use violence to snatch the victory. Either way the ordinary Zimbabwean will NOT have a free and democratic vote! A no vote to COPAC will force the nation to draw up another constitution, one that will guarantee the people's basic right to vote free of fear of political violence. People like Minister Biti will have a simple choice of coming clean and admit the COPAC draft is rubbish and thus give the nation a realistic chance of writing a democratic constitution or try to keep up the charade that the COPAC draft will deliver free elections and hope the dictator commit the kamikaze and allow free elections to take place!

  • ntemi.mark - 2012-10-30 22:46

    there can never b a peace in zim without justice,4get tendai,that's the dream that will never come true matey!so long u have chinamas's & his mates

  • mzondistanley - 2012-10-31 11:57

    For the First Time I hear words of Wisdom and Maturity from Biti!! Your Term of Office in Government is not enough to show a positive Impact on Zimbabwe peoples lives!! Do you think you need more time or you are tired!!

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