via Biti urges new Zuma ‘curatorship’ for Zim 16 August 2014
THE MDC-Renewal faction led by Tendai Biti has appealed to President Jacob Zuma to return to Zimbabwe to help “provide curatorship towards economic reform and a roadmap for free and fair elections”.
The faction’s proposals are contained in a 26-page document they presented to SADC leaders at the ongoing 34th ordinary summit in Victoria Falls.
Biti said Zuma had “unfinished business in Zimbabwe” adding that SADC’s Organ on Politics and Defence should be given a new and wider mandate to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.
He said Zimbabwe’s decade-old crisis was manifesting itself in five forms – “the crisis of legitimacy, governance, leadership, the economy, the social and the moral crisis”.
“It is our humble view that Zimbabwe requires urgent intervention by SADC and the AU has to engage Zimbabwe and a fresh mandate should be given to SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (The Troika) or to South Africa to provide curatorship towards economic reform and a roadmap to free and fair elections,” said Biti.
South Africa’s former president Thabo Mbeki is credited with the formation of a government of national unity between the MDC factions and President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party in 2009.
While the coalition government was marked by bickering between the three parties that included a smaller faction of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube it stabilised the economy by taming inflation that was described by economists as the worst in living memory.
Mugabe however, stormed to a controversial election victory in polls held last July. Both factions of the MDC have rejected the election as fraudulent.
“Your Excellency, we make the point that failure to act now will result in the unpalatable suffering of the Zimbabwean people and the temptation by others to resort to unlawful and unconstitutional means of redress,” he said.
“Your Excellency, the rest of SADC is stable and enjoying an unprecedented economic prosperity marked by high growth rates. Regrettably, Zimbabwe continues to be the black spot.
“Failure to resolve the continuous Zimbabwean crisis would mean the rest of the region suffering possible spill-over effects. In short, Your Excellency, we pray for action.”
Biti said his party has reservations about SADC’s Election Observer Mission final report on the Zimbabwean polls that he said remained a mystery to member states.
“We call upon progressive members of SADC to do the right thing and come out in the open in condemning the electoral farce that we saw in Zimbabwe on July 31,” he said.
“We know that this report has not been universally endorsed by all SADC member states and that there were dissenting voices even in the Observer Mission itself.”
He said his former boss can no longer be “considered a democrat or comrade in this struggle, is unclearly unsuitable and has disqualified himself” to lead the struggle.
Biti blamed Tsvangirai’s undemocratic tendencies for triggering the split in the opposition party.
“That culture has included the following: the use of violence as a way of settling disputes, corruption, disrespect of the constitution, a culture of impunity, the existence of parallel structures including a kitchen cabinet and vigilante groups associated with the leader.”
“This letter has been given to South Africa’s Ambassador Vusi Mavimbela, DRC’s Mwanananga Mwawampanga, the Botswana Foreign Affairs Minister Pandu Skelemani and the Tanzanian Delegation to the Troika,” said a highly placed source.