Biti redeems himself

via Biti redeems himself – DailyNews Live by Chris Goko  13 MARCH 2014

In the aftermath of his Southern African Political and Economic Series (Sapes) faux pas, one is tempted to say Tendai Biti has done himself and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) a lot of good by moving to clarify his controversial statements at the discussion forum last week.

While this political hard-man’s remarks had been interpreted as a ringing endorsement of President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party’s victory — through a raft of smart campaign strategies — the words were also at variance with Biti’s own party position and his earlier view that July 31’s outcome was contested.

As such, the feisty lawyer had taken quite some flak from a wide cross-section of disbelieving Zimbabweans and opposition supporters. Additionally, many were even wondering whether the MDC secretary-general had been “bought off” by the ruling party or he had completely lost his marbles — and which is why it is good for him, his party and the country in general that he has moved to clear up the nonsense.

Indeed, one does not have to be an MDC sympathiser or fanatic to realise that a strong opposition is good for any democracy, and our long-suffering Zimbabwe is no exception. And in an exclusive interview with our political editor Thelma Chikwanha earlier this week, an emotional Biti — clearly reeling from his embarrassing Sapes gaffe, endless clashes with Morgan Tsvangirai and other debilitating problems bedevilling their party — vowed he would rather die than join Zanu PF.

Crucially, he also reiterated his public views that the 2013 elections were rigged by Mugabe and Zanu PF, putting paid to any lingering doubts about his continued appetite for opposition politics and the quest for a more democratic Zimbabwe.

While some Zanu PF functionaries and apparatchiks may disagree, Biti’s position on this and many other issues is not only good for his standing, and the MDC, but also for our country for the following reasons.

As the Daily News has repeatedly pointed out in recent editions, the current strife and warring in this troubled party is a pointless conflict in which all the players are set to lose big time.

For the record, this includes Tsvangirai, Biti himself, suspended deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and other party honchos politicking for this, and other factional interests.

In another view, it can also be argued that Zimbabwe at large — together with its nascent democracy — is the biggest loser as this madness within the MDC rages on because the country has never needed a united, stronger and viable opposition than now, especially when economic problems are threatening to mirror the calamitous and myriad crises of 2008.

What makes this saga even more tragic is the fact that all the warring factions know fully well that their party was destined to lose last year’s election since they had naively agreed to participate in that ill-fated vote without all the key tenets of the global political agreement as had been directed by Sadc.

In that light, no amount of smart election campaigns and messages were ever going to change this reality, as the dice was heavily loaded against the MDC before the game had even started. Put differently, the opposition was always going to lose — and fail to dislodge Zanu PF — as dismally as it did once it had agreed to participate in the ballot without the agreed reforms.

The nation’s hope, therefore, is that Biti’s clarification of his commitment to the MDC and cause for deepened democracy in Zimbabwe, will begin the process of healing within the opposition leadership — and by Jove, Zimbabwe needs it.

After all, while it is clearly understandable that Zanu PF bigwigs will always fight each to death in their faction-riddled party — due to rich pickings and a real slice of the patronage system, and access to resources which include diamonds, multiple farms and fat State tenders like those unmasked by the media over the past few weeks — there is absolutely nothing to engage in mortal combat for those in the MDC.

In fact, for most of the party’s supporters and activists there is only pain, poverty, sacrifice and a trifling of drying donor funds to look forward to — rendering the current orgy of intra-party chaos utterly useless.

There is one final point to be made, though.

By now, one is sure that most Zimbabweans understand that when a party loses as badly as the MDC did in last year’s plebiscite, there was always going to be some blood-letting.

And the shattering reality, and pain of such a heavy defeat is always such that both confusion, and paralysis and reign — and people always look for easy answers out and scapegoating sets in.

Unfortunately for the MDC leadership and the country, and as inviting as that path may be, it is a highway to Hell and must be avoided at all costs as this country can ill-afford that.

So the hope is that Biti’s interview with the Daily News, and his clarification of his position, will reset the MDC’s moral and political compass, so that the party can keep its eyes on the ball at this crucial time of Zimbabwe’s history.



  • comment-avatar
    Roving Eagle 8 years ago

    “A strong opposition is good for any democracy” That is a fallacy is Zimbabwe. There is no democracy in Zimbabwe. Dictators never like to be called such hence they always wear the democracy rob. So strong or weak opposition makes to difference.

    • comment-avatar
      Fallenz 8 years ago

      True… number one thing democracy requires is free and fair elections where the people’s choice wins by majority vote… not something manipulated by a ruling party to maintain their position of power. Zim has yet to see a fair polling, eh.

      What Zim has is like some childish pretense at appearing democratic… the only difference is those children don’t have guns.

      We can only hope that whoever comes to power after ZANUPF has only Zim’s best interest at heart… driven by Integrity, Honor, and Justice.

  • comment-avatar
    Reverend 8 years ago

    It is all about personal power and money isnt it? Zimbabwe like the rest of Africa has not one man who can run a country for the sake of the people and genuine democracy.

  • comment-avatar
    Ndebvu Mukomichi 8 years ago

    Learning from the Master Flip Flopper!

    Bete muBiti has clarified nothing and has not changed from his fundamental points:

    1. That Mangoma’s suspension is unconstitutional,null and void.

    2. That ZPF’s electoral message was simpler and led to the their victory just as the machinja were selling empty ideas and therefore losst heavily.

    This about-turn is more about access to regime change funding than about political principles. Mr $217 was crying about his love for money, while the writer has joined the machinja’s campaign trail.
    Dead Luck to them both!, as they are going nowhere fast!

  • comment-avatar 8 years ago

    Biti might be right on one thing. Hero worship has cost us dearly as we are imprisoned in the cage of one personality. In fact the character of the country has taken the face of a personality, a character of sorts…self serving is the word. What personality can supersede the nation. If you look closely that is what Zimbabwe is about and thats the reason why the crisis is hard to disentangle. Woe to us

  • comment-avatar
    easily fooled 8 years ago

    Much writing without saying much. The Nigeria writer Chenee Achebe would say much ado about nothing. You are still not ripe for this kind of writing…lolo

  • comment-avatar
    Mudhakisi 8 years ago

    I agree with easily fooled. loose article

  • comment-avatar
    word writer 8 years ago

    As the Daily News has repeatedly pointed out in recent editions, the current strife and warring in this troubled party is a pointless conflict….. dauily news is wrong. very wrong. Tsvangirai has forfeited the right to lead MDC with his incompetent leadership, failed targets, foolish negotiatiations and hubris self deception and overconfidence. he has failed, but ….. using the tactics of his arch enemy, he refuses to let go and is now embarking on a campaign of fear- fear of loss of position in MDC, fear of exile from MDC. The conflict has to come because MT has failed, is failing and will always will fail to score the winning goal. RESIGN MT! Move over! let the competent lead the party…… or join the crowd of ….has been, also ran, nearly succeeded

  • comment-avatar
    The Truth. 8 years ago

    Tendayi Biti was merely stating an opinion. There is nothig wrong with self-introspection; but typical of Zim politics, personal opinions are never welcome, because Zim is an US and THEM society.

    You are either with us or you are an enemy; there is no middle of the road, so to speak. Zimbabweans like categorising people.

    Biti is one of the few MDC-T politicians who is not tribalistic and has the interest of the whole nation at heart. When he speaks of national unity, he is genuine.

    He is indeed for UNITY IN DIVERSITY, as opposed to UNITY THROUGH ASSIMILATION – which seems to be the type of unity favoured by the Gukurahundis, Mugabe, Tswangirayi and their supporters.

  • comment-avatar

    @The Truth you are a great lier,us in the party knows him very wel.he is a tribalist and practise n are just trying to spruce up his battered image.chek out Morgans Rally then you wl see who has the people .the Guys you support are politcal Analists not Politicians African politcs is tough they have learnt a lesson the hard way and nw they know 2016 they wl b history and this is the truth its time they quit and form their own since they want the Title -President.

  • comment-avatar
    taipei 8 years ago

    @the truth ndizvo zvaari kurambaka biti zve hero worship zvawatotanga izvozvi wat opinion was he stating from biti and co we don’t need opinions we need action nekuti wakati basa wanorigona tikati itai opinions from you and me and political analyst/commentators