Biti targets Ex-PM’s grassroots base

via Biti targets Ex-PM’s grassroots base 24 June 2014

THE rival factions in the bitter MDC-T leadership dispute may be asking the courts to adjudicate their fight over party assets but they will know that winning the hearts and minds of the multitudes of supporters who have backed the party through three successive election defeats is the triumph that really matters.

Morgan Tsvangirai and those backing him to remain party leader believe the former premier has the backing of the party’s grassroots and dismiss the rival Renewal Team as a motley collection of elitist snobs with no following around the country and interested mainly in hoodwinking impressionable donors.

But after making the logical case for Tsvangirai’s ouster, the dissenting group led by Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, among others, is now tugging at the hearts of supporters by financially helping victims of what the opposition party describes as Zanu PF and State-sponsored violence.

Addressing supporters in Chinhoyi on Sunday, members of the Renewal Team said they decided to act because “we cannot continue saying sorry for what happened”, suggesting Tsvangirai had not done enough.

Among other failings, the group has accused Tsvangirai of corrupt leadership, unleashing violence on dissenting voices, trashing the party’s constitution, failing to win elections against President Robert Mugabe and living a scandalous private life.

But the former premier has refused to step-down, encouraged in no small measure by the widely held view that he remains popular with the party’s grassroots supporters.

Now the Renewal Team is pitching its message to the same ordinary members by setting up a fund to help party supporters who suffered life-changing injuries due to political violence as well as families of those killed over the years – an issue they believe Tsvangirai has neglected.

The MDC-T claims that thousands of its supporters have fallen victim to Zanu PF and State sponsored violence since the opposition party was formed in 1999 and grew to represent one of the biggest threats to Zanu PF’s stranglehold on power since independence.

During the disputed and inconclusive 2008 elections alone, the MDC-T claims as many as 300 of its supporters were murdered after Zanu PF activists and elements of the State security apparatus reacted violently to Mugabe’s first round poll defeat by Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai would later pull out of the run-off election citing systematic violence and displacement of thousands of rural people suspected of being opposition supporters.

Biti told hundreds of supporters at a provincial meeting in Chinhoyi on Sunday that his group was mobilizing resources to assist victims of the political violence through reconstruction of houses or paying school fees for affected children.

“The movement would have failed if it does not look after victims of political violence that took place over the past 15 years,” said the former Finance Minister.

Mangoma, one of the high profile members of the Renewal team, added: “People’s houses were destroyed. We cannot continue saying sorry for what happened.

“We have to assist them in rebuilding their houses and paying school fees for children who are unfortunate victims of this violence. We also want MDC supporters to start small projects that can help them out.”

The leadership dispute has effectively divided the MDC-T with the Biti and Mangoma group saying they were working on forming a new and broader coalition to prepare another assault at Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.


  • comment-avatar
    zanupf fear me 9 years ago

    Biti you had your day. Perhaps..Only maybe….you and simba makoni might be noticed taken seriously if you are in the front row of the demonstrating masses marching down Zamora Michel from mabvuku kuwdzana and Beatrice Hatfield roads from chit own. But bet you lack guts as a lawyer

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    fatso 9 years ago

    Give us whatever it might be but we will never vote for you. If morgan is a failure you are part of the failing team

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    Biti forget that you will go as far as even leaking the prime minister’s chair. Just forget. We now know of your devious intentions and that you are being sponsored by ZANU and these are the same people who are now ashamed of what they did to MDC cadres. To try and correct their callous acts they have found a soft touch in you. What a proper sell out! Proper Judas you are. For the three pieces of silver you have betrayed the revolution. But it happens. The massacres in Chimoio were indeed the acts of vapanduki like you. The so-called Gumbura in your thick mind is better that you chimbwa sungata cheZANU.

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    Tsvangirai never formed a party after buying supporters,what Bit and Company are trying to do is buying support.poor opportunist.

    • comment-avatar
      Straight Shooter 9 years ago

      Forget about Tswangirayi; he is history!

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    wensil 9 years ago

    Well, vote buying in another guise. People must take this money and know where to vote come the next elections.

    People cannot be fooled that easily. Biti was in MDC all along and so why didn’t he suggest sourcing the funding then? It’s not like he has just arrived on the scene.

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    Ed Mrehwa 9 years ago

    Fellow Zimboz, lets give others a chance & not just dismiss them without considering what alternatives they give. After all the party is supposed to be a movement for democratic change, but right know they are preparing to make Tsvangirayi mdc president for life & you all do not see anything wrong with that. Charity begins at home, Zimbabwe needs real change, not another President for life.

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    ngororombe 9 years ago

    Oh zim cheap politics, we all know what has caused all this mess in our beloved country, why should we waste time fighting each other, lets look beyond our nose, I can see u must be against freedom, justice and democracy

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    Phillip chirombo 9 years ago

    If the Renewal Team build houses and pay school fees for the Zimbabwean people it means their objective is to upgrade the welfare of the people and surely people will vote for them.

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    machakachaka 9 years ago

    We have the press mostly covering Mujuru versus Mnangagwa, or Biti versus Tsvangirai, and then you get led through a web of plots and sub-plots and, in the end, you conclude that everybody is fighting everybody. If this is so in our main political parties, who really is tackling national issues? May God please drive away this hatred and greed, and allow us to accept each other and be able to work together, even if we sometimes disagree with our colleagues or opponents.

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    Tendai Biti chimumbwa sungata chaicho,siyana Nate iyoyo Mari yaari kudya achitenga sapoti,ichapera.Varidzi vayo vachaida kana atadza kuita delivery.Mavotes haasiri kuzoawana come 2018.Asi vanhu kana mapiwa Mari torai.2018 yauya moisa X pans Save simple.Totonga nyika.

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    Straight Shooter 9 years ago

    Biti, Welshman, Makoni, Mangoma and Dabengwa would make a winning team for sure. As for Biti and Mangoma – these guys have really hit the ground running!!!