New Zimbabwe (London)

4 February 2014

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Open to New Coalition - Biti

THE MDC-T has said it is open to a new dialogue with Zanu PF to rescue the country's economy arguing the ruling party has proved it is unequal to the task over the six months since claiming victory in last year's elections.

MDC-T Secretary General and Shadow Finance Minister Tendai Biti told reporters in Harare at his second state of the country's economy address that the MDC-T was open to dialogue with Zanu PF over forming another coalition administration.

Biti said because the Zanu PF government had failed to honour promises which it made during the campaign period last year, the party should surrender the running of the country's affairs.

In its election manifesto Zanu PF said it was going to review working conditions of services of government workers to be commensurate with the poverty datum line, which is currently at above $600.

But the government only managed to award a $79 salary increment to civil servants with now the least paid earning slightly above $300.

"All we can say as MDC is that the nation needs dialogue, It is clear that Zanu PF is directionless, and clueless and there has to be dialogue in this country. It is very key that there has to be dialogue," said Biti.

"It is a very dangerous situation to have a country which is not talking to each other. It's a whole mark of instability the whole mark of a broken down society. So Zimbabweans have to talk to each other to come up with a solution.

"The starting point is on the side of Zanu PF to accept that it has failed. To accept that they cannot lead us on their own; to accept that they are men of the past and to accept that problems are not solved by the same mind-set that created them - never mind that they are on the elderly side of life there has to be dialogue."

The MDC-T worked with President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party in a unity administration following the violent but inconclusive 2008 elections.

The coalition government is credited with helping ease political tensions, stabilizing a collapsing economy and forcing it onto some sustained if marginal recovery over the last five years.

The unity government, which was reviled by Zanu PF, ended with the July 31 2013 election won by Mugabe but rejected by the MDC-T as fraudulent.

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