via Biti blames personality cult for MDC-T woes | The Herald May 26, 2015
MDC Renewal Team frontman Mr Tendai Biti yesterday dismissed his former boss Mr Morgan Tsvangirai as a failed leader driven by an illusion for power which he said cost MDC-T the chance to unseat Zanu-PF in previous elections.Mr Biti, speaking at a public lecture to commemorate Africa Day in Bulawayo’s Lobengula suburb, said owing to the personality cult formed around Mr Tsvangirai in the past 15 years, MDC-T got to a point where it forgot its objectives.
He said the failure by opposition parties to build a formidable force to dislodge the ruling Zanu-PF turned out to be their Achilles’ heel.
“Our mistake was that we did politics based on personalities,” admitted Mr Biti before describing Mr Tsvangirai as a failure with an imagined sense of power but no capacity to rule.
“He thinks he’s powerful. It’s an illusion of power that he has. Tsvangirai wants people to say “yes president” to him. This continuous reference to him as “president” makes him think he has power, but he has no power.
‘We focused our attention on Tsvangirai removing (President) Mugabe from power. We lost the struggle in that way. We personalised the struggle. The struggle then became owned by an individual. We must never make that mistake again.”
Mr Biti told party supporters in attendance at Lobengula Hall that the “new” Zimbabwe should be built on mistrust.
“We must build new a Zimbabwe based on mistrust and not trust because if we put our faith in individuals and trust individuals, they will let us down,” he said.
“We used to praise Tsvangirai. All successful states are built on mistrust because when you mistrust someone it means you then build institutions that remain strong even when the leader loses the plot.”
Mr Biti said a “strong independent judiciary, independent Press and a graduation from slogans of division” were key in building a united country.
“Let’s put pillars that make sure that we can exercise our democratic right to vote in a peaceful manner. We have to take this country forward and taking this country forward means going beyond the failure who used to be our leader (Tsvangirai). We have to start afresh and we have to find a new face for our democratic struggle,” he said.
Mr Biti said it was important to commemorate Africa Day.
“We have a duty to celebrate this day so that we remember those who liberated us,” he said. “But we also need to take stock of what this means for the ordinary African. We celebrate because they have freed us but we must introspect on what they have done for us.”