via Biti US link rocks MDC Renewal Team – New Zimbabwe 24/03/2015
THE MDC Renewal Team’s prospects of salvaging its waning political fortunes could soon suffer another setback after its de’facto leader Tendai Biti was Tuesday linked to a possible move to the United States on a fellowship programme.
The breakaway group from MDC-T is still reeling from the expulsion of its 21 MPs from parliament after the main wing of the opposition ordered their recall.
Now it has emerged that the central figure in the breakaway initiative could soon pack his bags for a lengthy fellowship programme in the United States.
“Biti has been offered a fellowship with the Centre of Global Fellowship,” said a party official who requested anonymity.
“From what we gather, he has already accepted and could soon leave for the United States. But from the look of things, he is giving up politics.”
However, reached for comment, the former Harare East MP laughed off the rumour, saying he will not abandon local politics when Zanu PF was still in power.
“Where are you getting that?” he said, adding, “No, there is nothing like that, absolutely.”
He continued: “I am going nowhere. Once Zanu PF is gone, l will quit politics. As long as Zanu PF is alive and kicking, l will not quit politics.”
Biti remains secretary general of the MDC group that has since joined forces with another breakaway faction led by his predecessor Welshman Ncube to form the United Movement for Democratic Change.
Because of his influence and outspokenness, he is largely viewed as the leader of the group despite Sekai Holland, another ousted legislator, being said to be interim leader of the troubled group.
Biti’s impending departure could spell doom for an ambitious group which looks up to tough skinned politicians like the firebrand former finance minister to navigate a political terrain dominated by President Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai.
Meanwhile, Biti has played down suggestions the expelled party MPs have been plunged into mourning following revelations government was keen on trailing them to their backyards to recover its dues in terms of loans advanced towards the purchase of vehicles.
Biti also denied his party has lost political ground after its MPs were expelled.
“Our party is bigger than parliament. We were there before parliament; we will be there after parliament. When the MDC was formed in 1999, we didn’t have a single member of parliament,” he said.
“There are 21 members of parliament. Renewal has got membership that runs into thousands of people so the majority of our people are not members of parliament. It’s business as usual until Mugabe goes.”