Tendai Biti Strips Down Dictators

via Tendai Biti Strips Down Dictators – Zimbabwe Election: Latest News & Voting Information FFZE by Tendai Biti

All dictators are sustained by fear, patronage and chaos.

The arsenal of this group of people is huge ,sophisticated but essentially predatory, brutal and short term.

Power must be surrendered to one individual; the godfather. That power is normally acquired from a military coup ,a liberation struggle in the case of most of African dictatorships or some civil war triumph. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni being a good example of this.

The most complex and entrenched dictator is the Founder of the new African Nation. He who held the chains at the time of transition from colonialism to independence. The Founding father of the nation.

Power must be surrendered to one individual; the godfather. That power is normally acquired from a military coup ,a liberation struggle in the case of most of African dictatorships or some civil war triumph. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni being a good example of this.

The most complex and entrenched dictator is the Founder of the new African Nation. He who held the chains at the time of transition from colonialism to independence. The Founding father of the nation.

This lot personalise the State and have both de jure and de facto power. They are essentially the State .They are constantly reminding everyone of history and their unique role in liberating the country.

One of Kamuzu Banda s famous regular statements was to remind Malawians of “how they were all dogs ” before he liberated them.

To the extent that they own they state the culture of entitlement and impunity is the constant order of the day.

Hardly anyone of them ever gives up office voluntarily .They die in office or are removed in a violent coup.

Director Kelvin Kevin Macdonald made the Last King of Scotland in 2006 that made star Forest Whitaker win an Oscar for playing the life of dictator Idi Amin Dada but trust me all these dictators are so amazing so ingenious and yet so outrageous in respect of what they can do for power and money.Each deserve his Hollywood block buster.

They belong in different categories.They are those like Togo s General Gnassinge Eyadema.

A young man who become President at the time of Togo s independence from the French but vandalized the same and ran a personalized dictatorship for 41 years until his demise in 2000.

He is in the category of those that assumed office immediately after independence

The Founding Fathers of the Nation.

There are a notorious bunch.
Try Omar Bongo Odimba of Benin ,who took power in 1967 at the time of independence and died in office in 2009.

Try Mzee Kenyata, and Hastings Banda.

The egnimatic Felix Houphert -Boigny falls in that category.He assumed office at Cote de Ivoire s independence in 1960 but died in office in 1993.

hung on to power through a complex mixture of bribery and coercion of the country powerful historical tribes and generous accommodation of army officials.

None of his predecessors were able to do that plunging the country into civil war.
That is one of the threat points of these omnipotent autocrats.

They became the State itself such that their demise creates a vacuum that can never be filled effectively thus creating conflict or down right collapse of the State.

We saw this in post Siad Barre s Somalia.After his death in 1991 war lords who had benefited from his patronage and protection simply turned on each other.

The story of dictator Francois Tombaibaye of Chad is little known but deserves reference too.The eerie looking man took power at independence in 1960.

He was so bad that when his officers killed him in 1975 there were parties and orgies in Chad s capital of NDajemena .

But lets not create the impression that all of post independent Fathers were so dictatorial and predatory .

.Mwalimu Nyerere despite challenges in economic management was a charming humane person.

I find great humanism too in Kenneth Kaunda despite his many challenges mistakes and omissions .

The poet President Leopold Senghor who ruled Senegal from independence in 1960 to 1980 was a brilliant philosopher who was moderate by the standards that were being proffered by his contemporaries.

He did not die in office and handed power to an associate the lanky chocolate black Abdou Diof.

But if you thought the first generation of dictators were horrible ,take a look at what I call the second generation class.This is a large group of monsters that acquired power ,mainly through coups against the autocratic founding Father.

This lot do not have the legitimacy ,and sometimes the popularity and appeal of the Founding Father.

So the dictatorship is more vicious.Further to the extent that they betrayed,and they organized a coup ,they know that what they did to the Founder can also be done against them.

This lot therefore tends to be more paranoid ,does not trust anyone and is absolutely ruthless to the point of idiocy .

.That is the point about Idi Amin Dada exposed in the Last King of Scotland.

With great respect to Idi Amin Dada,the godfather of this lot has to be Joseph Mobutu Seseseko.

The history of the country we now know as DRC is tortured and painful.I have no intention of uncovering it but the various mutations of this vast peace of beautiful rich but cursed land tell a story on its own.

These names include Congo Free State,Belgian Congo,Republic of the Congo,Zaire and now the DRC.

Mobutu carried out his American backed coup in 1965 following a paralysis brought about by a stand off between the President Joseph Kasavubu and the Prime Minister the late and great Patrice Lumumba.

From then on Mobuto defined new horizons of theft and kleptocracy.He turned DRC into a one party state at the same time building a personal fortune that ran into billions.He was so wealthy that he could pay off his country s sovereign debt and and regularly lent money to his treasury.

This man was a monster in the same league of the chief looter if the Congo ,King Leopold of Belgium.

Another notorious second generation gangster is the unbelievable,Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa of the Central African Republic.The fellow took power in 1979 .This son of a kraal head ceased power in a 1966 coup against his cousin David Dacko .

Therein after came a circus of repression abuse and state failure of such unbelievable proportions .

The French had to remove this clown by military intervention in 1979 but not before the country had been rendered so dysfunctional.Empty coffers ,chaos and unbelievable patronage .

If you visit the CAR s international airport today ,Bangui Mokoto International Airport ,the Emperor s legacy hits you in the face.Road runners scrounge for food whilst ,vendors sale tomatoes and exotic equatorial fruit at the same.

The immigration officer has to be fetched from somewhere while poor passengers wait.

Add to this list the likes of Paul Biya of Cameroon who assumed office in 1982.

Also add Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso who carried out his coup against his friend ,the great Thomas Sankara in 1987.

I suspect Gambians would complain if we left out their own Yahya Jammeh who carried his coup in 1994 against another long timer ,Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara who had ruled Gambia since 1964.

But the last mention must surely go to Africa s longest serving dictator.

It is not whom you are thinking of but his buddy Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo ,the dictator from the Equatorial Guinea who ceased power in 1979 through a coup against his uncle ,another notorious dictator Francisco Macais Nguema who had been in power since independence in 1968.

Despite the Equitorial Guinea being one of the richest countries on the continent due to its oil,this is a country which is characterized by corruption,repression ,poverty and massive suppression of the media.

A real tin pot dictatorship in a sea of wealth.

It is just amazing the democratic deficit still on this continent .

It is amazing how African populations can seat and watch helpless without power to fight back and regain their spaces against these dictatorships.

Five decades after independence this is not on.
It’s just about time that new generations rolled back time and rewrote their own history .

This balance sheet of failure is an embarrassment to all Africans.

And I did not even mention all of them.




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    Africa is pretty much synonymous with dictatorships. The biggest threat to Africa and its people, long after decolonisation is the continued churning out of plunderous and murderous dictators.
    As one author aptly put it- We are cursed not by our resources but by our politicians.

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    Realist 10 years ago

    Biti you should have been bold enough to mention Robert Mugabe here, perhaps just in passing as no one needs a lecture on this moron

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    todii zvazvo 10 years ago

    tazvinzwa vaBiti zvinotoita sei? cause it seems these guys are always winning at the end of the day.
    Lets educate the povo and show them the way,problem with you guys when u were in power u totally forgot the people especially your stronghold of Matabeleland.U Did not even bother to campaign vigourously in these parts hence our downfall.
    Lets pick ourselves up and prepare for another battle the war is not yet over!

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      Hey “Todii Zvazvo”
      Its not about MDC not campaigning or what….MDC has been winning all 3 past elections! I think its all about securing the people’s vote! Zanu will just pretty much announce what they want, even worse from now on! Its pointless going to elections as it is, not even in 2018…! MDC should have made a lot of noise & should have made it completely impossible for elections to be conducted under those circumstances….! The only other option is confronting this dictator we have, head on! Dangerous as it may sound, l dont see any other practical way! Thats why Sadc is even saying Zanu can rule forever…! They control all the institutions that matter in delivering change…! To be honest Zanu did not win even 10% of these seats…! But then what can we do….Zimbos we are “peaceful” people…! Dictator haabve zviri peaceful, even though this is possible, but only chete when those institutions dzaita crumble….Otherwise for the povo, its “suffer continue” nenhamo!

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    Chiwaridzo 10 years ago

    The Zimbabwean people went war in the 1970’s to free themselves from a white colonial dictator why do they not pick up arms and go to war to free themselves from a black post colonial dictator and murderer

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      Kevin Watson 10 years ago

      Idiot the war started in the 1960s unless you want to ignore the Battle of Hwange. Its only Zanu/Zanla who came late to the war.

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      This is very possible, just need good logistics…!

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    What a masterpiece of classical recollection of dictators.time will tell

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    George Sebedebe 10 years ago

    Biti should instead give us an analysis of Africa’s greatest sell outs such as Mois Chombe, Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Nelson Chamisa and others in the MDC. The common characteristics of sell outs is that they put their countries at the mercy or alter of imperialism and even destroy their countries and people either by civil war as we saw in the DRC for years or by sanctions as we witnessed in Zimbabwe when Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti and others connived with imperialists to have the coutry placed under sanctions so that the MDC can get into power. Sell outs never mind how many millions of their countrymen die or suffer as long as the end result is their ascendence to power-seudo power really as they will be faces fronted by imperialists who will be in power. Sell outs thrive on self destruction and will criticise everything that is African and glorify everything that is imperialist, even mass murder of their people as long as that is done by their founders, funders and handlers-the imperialists. Biti, Tsvangirai and others in the MDC belong to jail. They should be jailled for treason. President Mugabe should never include these sell outs in our next cabinet because to do so would be to allow imperialists eyes and ears in our administration. We should conduct clensing ceremonies in Parliament, former Tsvangirai’s office and other places of power poluted by the MDC in the past.

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      furedi 10 years ago

      You are a totally brainwashed IDIOT. If we only have ten who think like you then that is the reason our country is in trouble.Zidanda.

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      Suzie 10 years ago

      George- what sanctions are you talking about? Sanctions against the elite? Why allow yourself to be used by people who have no feelings at all. They have decided to use sanctions to their advantage. They know as long as the sanctions are there they will not be accountable for their irresponsibility. These people have strived at the expense of ordinary citizens. Why not use the money they use to send their kids to get educated overseas to develop the country’s appalling education system. No they can’t do that coz they are selfish. It’s not about the people they are leading it’s about them

      Having said all that, it’s high time people realise that a politician is not a ‘saviour’. Tariro ngaive kuna Jesu and people should refuse to be used for selfish gains.

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      Rudadiso 10 years ago

      George Sededebe you are so right about sell outs but then you omit the most dangerous sell out of them all, Robert Mugabe. By the time he leaves the scene the country will be without all its mineral resources which are being surrendered to the Chinese for a song. The environmental degradation being caused by the Chinese in the countryside is heart-breaking.

      Zimbabweans have become second class citizens in their own country as Chinese employers are at liberty to underpay and even physically assault workers with the blessing of Robert Mugabe. The Chinese have also been allowed to build on wetlands thereby threatening Harare’s future sources of water.

      I cannot imagine there being a worse sell out than Robert Mugabe the world over. The guy goes to the extent of enriching South African institutions, paying huge amounts of money so children of his cronies can study there while neglecting our own universities for which he is chancellor. He is clearly the most dangerous sell out this country has ever seen

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        kiddnile 10 years ago

        I agree

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          Allen 10 years ago

          I also agree. Mugabe and his like are a bane to society. They deserve the must cruel death for their crimes. We will have “orgies and parties ” when thus thug us gone.

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        Khumza 10 years ago

        He sold our country to human abusers. most of our people will die before testing democracy

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      Kevin Watson 10 years ago

      The only sell outs are those who perverted the peoples democracy and enriched themselves, Mugabe and the other corrupt dictators.

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      kiddnile 10 years ago

      Moroon par excellence-you are

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      George Sebedebe, you are an idiot…!

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    joseph 10 years ago

    Sorry Mr Biti you forgot to put your boss Mr Tsvangirai on the list,when is he going to step down? MDC is lost under his leadership,he is not strategic- always take things for granted

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    Tsuro 10 years ago

    Tendai, there is nothing new in what you have said. As Africans, we know this. We also know that weak opposition leadership perpetuates dictatorship.

    It is hoped that your party has learned some very hard lessons and heeds warnings more seriously from those who support you. Being too clever by half doesn’t work. The party was well and truly duped and this electoral failure was truly self inflicted.

    The consequences are going to be profound. The struggle has been pushed right back to 2000. The party of change never saw it coming. It was blinded from simple common sense. Not one of you in leadership has accepted responsibility.

    The party of change needs to change. If the MDC-T was a company, the CEO would have been fired 3-4 years ago. Failure to perform, most especially right now, means that there is a leadership vacuum. This vacuum could easily be filled by a new movement unless you people wake up, acknowledge your failure and rebuild from the ashes of your failure to deliver.

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    That was a good well researched article. Truly I enjoyed reading it. The African people are cursed by their leaders. Just look at Masvingo road to Beitbridge. In 1980 it was Masvingo ne carpet,what remains now is a dangerous pothole road.

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    Hydro Chem 10 years ago

    Sad, Tendai Biti just expressing the anger of defeat. Its time that you and your compatriots be told the truth, that you are sellouts. You are not considerate to the real issues of Africa, but your own ascention to power.

    Sad indeed that you write like a blinkered horse in race. Heavily inclined to seeing African evils to the point of putting on paper your biased and narrow minded opinions. We all know that as MDC you Lost the recently contested elections in Zimbabwe and after sleepless of horror after defeat you wake up and wish you were not born. Nothing else meaningful to do as MDC you clearly do not want to honour the noble win of Zanu(pf) and its leader cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Instead you insinuate on the theory of dictatorship of the founding fathers without the courage to blame yourselves as agents of the Western powers.

    It is important that you admit that there is no dictatorship in Zimbabwe. I’m sure you agree that Mugabe is not a dictator, but because you did not mention his name among dictators or none thereof, you have lost a chance of cleansing yourself as a defeated member of the opposition in denial. Now, being in denial makes you a dictator young man. You seem to continue to look for an answer that never exist. The answer to Zimbabwe is RG Mugabe and you just have to leave with that, because more Zimbabweans do agree with that fact as displayed by his majority win.

    Thank God elections are decided by the majority rule. If it was in your hands to decide, Tendai, with your biased and selfish perception of African leaders, dictatorship tendencies were going to be on display.

    I thought that your first article after your defeat would be to congratulate ZANU(PF) for winning the elections, you know as professionals do. Instead, you decide to expose you lunacy to the entire world. What’s wrong with you African opposition parties? You fail to give credit where it is due. That’s sad indeed.

    It only proves that you are carrying out a sponsored agenda. That why wars will emanate from every corner in Africa, its all because you are told what to do by your sponsors. The next thing your sponsors will advise you to take up arms against the country’s leadership. They will sponsor you even with the ammunition. Tendai, little did we knew that you are so pathetic. You are a professional Tendai, if you don’t realise it now. Nobody will tell you again.

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      kiddnile 10 years ago

      No need to congragulate theives. It’s not MDC who lost 94* of Zimbos lost

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    Pulsey 10 years ago

    Really a good analysis and educating article. The question Mr Biti is what to do now? People are waiting for direction yet nothing is coming from you guys. People are angry yet you are not helping at all. Right now there is leadership vaccum. We need leaders who think and act at right time. It is of no use to let the Zimbabweans to continue to suffer yet they voted for change and you failed to protect their vote. Only yesterday you were cerebrating the return of Tsvangirai’s security do you know what it means? Think twice before accepting free goods. It is better to have his own security than the state. Wake up time is up we need you now than ever. Takakumirirai chinjai maitiro chinjai.

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    chidyausiku 10 years ago

    Biti this is a masterpiece of writing. One dimensions common in these dictactors can be derived from Sigmund Freud pyschoanalysis. These goons have serious inadequacies they try to compensate for especially sexual. They are hopeless miserable creatures. A bunch of losers who think they can charm every other zimbabwean except their wives. So much for convenience!!!

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    Biti come right , you served under Mugabe’s leadership and shared the same table with him for the last four years , now you are out then you start these unreasonably excuses , please you are a highly profiled person be reasonable and talk sense to the people of Zimbabwe ,sorry i disagree with you , when did you realised this ?- after loosing your salary ? i trusted you but not as from today .A sellout cries after loosing , you might be the one .

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    TENDAI, I really enjoyed your tirade against the various Presidents
    of African Countries following their Independence from Colonial
    Times. Very Brave of you. Now, and more importantly, I just want
    to record my “Congratulations” on the way you, virtually singlehanded
    recovered the Drastic Financial position Zimbabwe was in 5 Yrs ago.
    Nobody thought this Monumental Task was possible. Those 5yrs will
    go down in the History of Zimbabwe as the Greatest recovery of all time.
    Old Kariba Hand.

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    Mjiba 10 years ago

    George & Hydro Chem can you please go back to the toilet and reverse the process coz when you sat on the chamber and flushed you didn’t realize that it was your brains that you flushing; and what you were supposed to flush out filled your skulls. The so called sanctions were imposed to a few individuals not to the economy of Zimbabwe, unless if you want to tell us that these individuals are Zimbabwe themselves. After all, if the westerners are that imperialistic as you perceive them to be, why bother even mentioning them and always cry and blame them for every other of failures? Infect, we (Zimbabweans) got our independence and become a sovereign nation in 1980. We were so happy to choose Cde. RG Mugabe as our leader to lead us but all of a sudden, we all (except guys like you and a few others) have become his subjects; he has turned himself to be a ruler instead of a leader. He is a ruler not a leader. Its like in the “Animal Farm” story where Napoleon and him only is always right and while all animals are equal; the Napoleons (ZNPFs) are more equal than others.
    We have migrated our policies from the west to THE EAST and everything in Zimbabwe is now zhing-zhang. The Chinese only come to steal and destroy what you have so that they keep you beg for them. They are heartless and ruthless, they don’t care about us. Maybe your eyes have a cataract problem, right now you are helping them loot our gold, platinum, our diamond even coal from us. Of cause birds of the same further flock together.
    We talk of 51/49% empowerment while you empower yourself and give the Chinese more than 100%, what on earth is this??? If the Chinese have Africans at heart why cant they allow and export to us the technology they use to shine our diamond, process our own gold and all these other mineral resources to finished products then we sell to China the finished products; make our economy grow fast so that every citizen’s livelihood is improved. No they will not do that, they want to continue manipulate us to their gain.

    Even you guys (MDC) you relaxed, you took things for granted and you were used by znpf. They made you concentrate on very minor issues while they were busy strategizing how they would rig the nation to an extent that they couldn’t believe the magnitude of their works. Tendai!! Todii Zvazvo is right, even in Masvingo you ignored us in many spheres, we even tried to tip you during the campaigns through your local guys of the strategies of the other side but as usual you kept a deaf ear like you were on that side always did. Now the result: we lost. although you keep on ignoring us, we still believe MDC T is our only hope so far and we also hope you will not follow znpf’s footsteps of corruption and brutality.

    May this publisher please send this note on Tendai’s email.

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    Rudadiso 10 years ago

    Mjiba you hit the nail right on the head. Apart from relaxing on the job, the MDC developed some very unsavoury tendencies – arrogance. I am one of those people who after realising that virtually no voter registration was taking place in Harare took the trouble to try communicate with our MP who happened to be Tendai Biti so as to update him on what was happening. I tried to get hold of Biti’s phone number from his colleagues without success. It is laughable that an MP’s phone number is not available to those whom he represents and pay his salary.

    In desperation a text message was sent to his wife’s number. She acknowledged receipt and advised she would convey a message to her husband. Still there was no response from Biti. Such was the level of confidence that even the failure to access electronic copies of the voters’ roll that they were entitled to was a non event.

    Having said that, Robert Mugabe is the worst sell out that ever lived. Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, hunger, disease and starvation are the hallmark of his long stay in power while at the same time surrendering our national resources to the Chinese. Try reporting a criminal Chinese to ZRP and you will end up being jailed while the criminal goes scot free.

    Imagine a president so barbaric that he gets congratulated for conducting a “peaceful” election, something which civilised nations take for granted. The man is primitive beyond redemption.

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    vikinduku 10 years ago

    Afrikans are what we are – afrikans. We cannot change our cowardly nature camouflaged as ‘respect for authority.’ Even during the war of liberation, most of us stayed behind and joined the Rhodesian army or worked as ‘tea boys’, fighting their own brothers and sisters all in the name of…what? Massive, undiluted stupidity and cowardice. Which is why we allow village headmen, chiefs, police officers, magistrates, etc to ride roughshod over our dignity. At work, petty bosses and their white masters terrorise us and pay us 2 cents for a thousand dollar job, at home our wives act like they have balls, traffic cops steal from anyone lower than them in political rank, Zimra forces us to buy Japanese cars twice, once in Japan over the internet, and then at the border posts…. The level of corruption is massive, the level of acceptance of corruption shocking. Even schoolgirls know that to pass an exam they have to be nice to someone, while Ministers of Govt. steal exam papers for their stupid daughters and are not ridiculed and imprisoned.

    and now we come to Mugabe: I am not a coward so I will say his name. The man rigs an election in broad daylight in the 21st century (produce the voters roll and we’ll CONFIRM that as fact, by its absense we ALREADY KNOW it was massively rigged, as were the special votes, the registration of voters, constituencies, etc) and what does Tsvangirai do – run to the courts, weeping like a child whose sweet has been taken from his mouth. What does Biti do – write silly, pointless articles whose content we all know clearly and well. What will you DO about it, Tendai? Nothing. Coward.
    Instead, the man you insinuate to be a dictator left a cushy life as a teacher – cushy in those days as he came from my poor home village – and went and sacrificed himself to fight the white man. As did many others who are with him today, and a few at Heroes’ Acre. I applaud their bravery. I detest, despise, spit at your cowardice. WHAT THE FU… WILL YOU DO, TENDAI?

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      Welcome to the real world of evil, murder,and sinful lust for riches! You are a obviously a very bitter person which will destroy you, so LOOK UP and store your riches in heaven, not here on earth where moth and rust and Mugabe can destroy it.

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    Black Steel 10 years ago

    Well written but please correct Mr Biti that Omar Bongo Ondimba was the dictating president of Gabon, not Benin. Even now the country is ruled by his stupid son who grew up in France

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    Jackson 10 years ago

    Well done Tendai, this a classic piece. But be carefull, your article hits dictators in general where it hurts, and your smart phrase ‘And I did not even mention all of them’ in the last line hurts most the dictator and elections thief at home.

    Zikomo va Biti

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    Jackson 10 years ago

    Can you give us an insight into what you think they should have done in a political environment/situation where:
    – the uniformed forces are highly politicised and vow not to salute anybody other than mugabe/zanu pf
    – the civil service is highly, both militarised and politicised to the extent that high ranking civil servants they dont consult the prime-minister (Tsvangirayi)
    – it is forewarned that even if you win you will never rule this country (this of course implying a coup)
    – what would you do where the regional body has come to play referee and to whom you would indicate in trust, how the other party is unfairly playing and so expecting the ref to act.

    I want to take this dicussion with you further but please first respond to above.

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    Customer 10 years ago

    I stopped listening to Biti when he started using alien words like zikomo and wananchi. Please make it stop! You will alienate yourself from potential followers when you make them start feeling like some cult! Keep it simple and we might just vote for you next time.