Biti booted out

HARARE - As expected, the MDC moved quickly yesterday to expel forthwith its secretary-general Tendai Biti and all the members of his faction who party leaders say had driven the 15-year-old opposition party to the brink when they mutinied over the weekend.

Addressing a brief media conference at the MDC’s national headquarters in Harare, after emergency meetings of the party’s executive and national councils, its leader Morgan Tsvangirai announced, amid loud cheers from the gallery, that all the people who had participated in the rebellious Saturday gathering, including Biti and nine legislators, had been expelled summarily.

The affected MPs would soon be recalled from Parliament.

And as the MDC president spoke, hundreds of expectant supporters waited outside Harvest House singing pro-Tsvangirai songs and chanting his totem (Save) — amid tight police presence.

They were later appraised of the dramatic developments by senior party officials to much jubilation.

Tendai Biti (second from right) celebrates with colleagues after announcing MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's suspension.

The former PM also announced that the M  DC would hold its much-anticipated extra-ordinary congress, meant to unify and re-energise the party, in October this year, where new leaders would be elected.

Originally, the elective congress had been scheduled to take place in 2016 but had now been brought forward to deal with the party’s “cockpit” problems.

The surprisingly calm Tsvangirai noted that he had always been suspicious of Biti, whom he described as a “hypocrite” who for a long time cowardly hid behind former deputy treasurer- general Elton Mangoma, adding that the rebels had effectively expelled themselves from the MDC and formed their own party.

“I do not believe that this is a split. It’s individuals who have decided to form their own party,” he said.

He also said that Biti and Mangoma had ultimately not betrayed him, but the people of Zimbabwe.

In the meantime, Tapiwa Mashakada would act as secretary-general in place of the fired Biti until the October congress.

In the new set up, Women’s Assembly chairperson Theresa Makone takes over from Elton Mangoma as acting deputy treasurer-general, with Costa Machingauta coming in as acting national youth chairperson, replacing Solomon Madzore.

Speaking earlier, the party’s national chairman, Lovemore Moyo, said the immediate sacking of the “coup plotters” was decided in a national council ballot which saw 162 out of 167 delegates voting for the dismissal of the rebels. Five people had abstained from the voting.

Driving the issue of the legitimacy of yesterday’s decisions home, organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, who spoke on behalf of party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora -- who had reportedly been summoned by police for unknown reasons -- said 37 out of 52 members of the national executive had participated in yesterday’s meetings.

The now expelled rebels congregated on Saturday to “suspend” Tsvangirai and other senior MDC leaders such as vice president Thokozani Khupe, Moyo, Chamisa and Mwonzora after an executive meeting of their own which the MDC went on to describe as a “bogus” one.

That dramatic development played out as another damning MDC dossier surfaced at the weekend claiming that a group of Rhodies, comprising mainly disillusioned former commercial farmers, was heavily involved in the alleged multi-pronged plot to destroy Tsvangirai and effect illegal leadership change in the MDC.

Comments (38)

The primary aim here is to weaken MDC. Can you imagine all the kinds of noise we would be hearing had that dossier about a group of Rhodies been on Tsvangirai's side. Because they are on the weaker side, we will probably never hear any mention of them, it is the stronger Tsvangirai they are worried about and want to see destroyed. And just out of curiosity, which side is Simba Makoni in all this?

Dr Know - 30 April 2014

Tendai Biti is a lucky guy. He has been given a breath of fresh air to prove that he can run things in a more transparent and enlightened manner. Tendai's MDC Team must now concentrate on building structures throughout the country. There is a ripe market out there. He must make sure the publicity department is manned by excellent communicators. The intelligentsia is his for the taking. Make branches at polytechnical colleges, teachers colleges, universities, knock at every company, approach leaders of industry and commerce, at schools.... etc etc. It's about time we had real political change and ditch Stone Age politicians like Morgan Tsvangirai who just as good as Mugabe.

Deans Rutsate - 30 April 2014

Soldier on, Tendai Biti. Do not be intimidated by fake democrats like Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai lacks the gravitas to lead a modern democratic movement. He is just too corrupt and undemocratic.

Savious Kujinga - 30 April 2014

Tsvangirai is taking a dangerous gamble by trying to recall the "rebels" from parliament. What if the courts or the Speaker side with the rebels and declare his side illegitimate. That means those siding with Tsvangirai will be the ones being chased from parliament.

Sam Dzika - 30 April 2014

Let the intraparty fights continue. They will expose the pretenders. It looks to me that the lacks of Tsvangirai, Nelson Chamisa, Mwonzora are just fake democrats who are in it for the money. There are indications that these fellows have been fleecing the party resources for their own selfish needs. Remember Lorcardia was silenced with a cool $300 000 by Mr Tsvangirai. Where did he get that sort of money and at the same time buy houses and farms? Please answer now Mr Tsvangirai.

Togarase - 30 April 2014

ngaaende biti,very useless

gmaleh - 30 April 2014

The issues that were raised by Elton Mangoma are still to be answered. Please Morgan Tsvangirai answer those pertinent questions before we can move on. The whole country is waiting for the answers.

Jojo - 30 April 2014

Just because MDC-T 'lost' several so-called elections does not make Tsvangirai a dictator. It simply makes no sense to judge a person on frustrated efforts to win an election.We all know what happened in all the elections said to have been lost by Tsvangirai. People know when to renew the MDC-T leadership the Biti foolish way.Even Tsvangirai clear knows when to call it quits. What is 15yrs compared to 36 yrs?

kurashika - 30 April 2014

Just because MDC-T 'lost' several so-called elections does not make Tsvangirai a dictator. It simply makes no sense to judge a person on frustrated efforts to win an election.We all know what happened in all the elections said to have been lost by Tsvangirai. People know when to renew the MDC-T leadership the Biti foolish way.Even Tsvangirai clear knows when to call it quits. What is 15yrs compared to 36 yrs?

kurashika - 30 April 2014

What is Mr Gumbura (sorry Mr Tsvangirai) trying to achieve? His actions are just too little too late. He no longer commands the respect of the electorate after his incompetent performance in the GNU. His promiscuity did not help matters either as it exposed him as a hopeless fellow controlled by his libido. What leadership qualities do Mr Tsvangirai possess? Answer: None whatsoever.

Sister Yondo - 30 April 2014

pity biti and company dont have the people on their side, they are just a bunch of arm chair inteliigentsia who cannot even organise a rally in glen view that can attract 20 people. save though a rabble rouser, is an orator of note who over the yeares has horned the skills of drawing the peasants, lumpen proletariats and civil servants to his side. so the long and the short of it is that biti's project is doomed to suffer a still birth and on that he can consult welshman whose attempt to split from tsvangirai was a monumental failure. i still insist the grassroots are still behind save despite his misdemeanours and sheningans.

cde churucheminzwa - 30 April 2014

Let us clear misconceptions here. Those who are opposed to Tsvangirai are not necessarily blaming him for the Nikuved elections. The main issue is the suitability of Tsvangirai as leader. He is clearly not the right leader to lead the democratic movement in the 21st century. He is intolerant of divergent view, he does not take advice, he is violent, he is myopic, he is intellectually challenged, he is not exemplary in his private conduct, he is too steeped in the past, he is corrupt and he lacks strategic focus.

Sokoto - 30 April 2014

Usadzokere shure Biti. Ramba wakadzvanya basi kusvikira Tsvangirai aridza mhere. Munhu wepi anopedzera mari yese kuvakadzi iye ari harabwa ine vazukuru? Famba nebhora Biti.

Tomato Sauce - 30 April 2014

Tsvangirai is clearly a wrong choice to lead the people of Zimbabwe into the democratic Canaan. Just like Mugabe he belongs to the past. He personalizes the struggle and takes liberty with party resources. Surely proper democrats need to dissociate themselves from the likes of Tsvangirai and Chamisa. They are bad influence.

Pombi - 30 April 2014

Come on guys please continue fighting. This is the right time to do so as we are far away from elections. By the time we hold elections in 2018 we would have seen who is the real democrat. Let there be more fights in MDC Ncube, Zanu PF and MDC-Tsvangirai. They are actually very entertaining!

Lenin - 30 April 2014

Gentlemen, Tsvangirai is serious political master mind. look here. The greatest threat to MDC was the 2016 Congress, which would have given time for saboteurs and infiltrates to damage the party and prevent the possible Tsvangirai face on the 2018 Ballot paper. Now, even if it is by fanning Biti, or Zanu PF project to prop Biti just to dislodge Tsvangirai, they have suffered the deadliest blow in recent political History, because the counter by Tsvangirai to hold Congress in October 2014 instead of 2016 will utilise the current anger of the masses with Biti, to rubber stamp a Congress victory immediately giving Tsvangirai 5 more years to 2019 which is a year after next elections. Meaning Tsvangirai is now undoubtedly on 2018 voter Ballot paper. This returns the tide to Zanu PF as they still struggle to choose candidate, with using Mugabe not favourable as obvious Dictatorship is spotted, compounded by their deadly factional struggles in Zanu PF, we would see serious fractures in PF. The ball has been safely returned to Zanu PF court until 2019.Let the Zanu PF Circus begin. Punishment plus good move!!!!

Tortoise - 30 April 2014

The battle will be won at grass roots

Jori - 30 April 2014

Ana Tsvangirai vanotonga chiiko, forward with the leadership renewal group-Hezvo uko bwaa chinyatsobatanidzayi vanhu vose tinotenda zvikuru nezvamakaita tiri kufara chose

Nyamhangambiri - 30 April 2014

We pray for our leader Morgan Tsvangirai, may The Almighty God continue to guide His leadership, the support he gets from the poor, is not his but From you The Almighty God,who knows the destiny of this country, he is a sinner like all of us, but he fears you God, turn his weaknesses to strength for the devil has opened its long sharp teeth to engulf and destroy him. we pray for his proctetion , let what he is fighting for bear fruits. Let this prayer dilute all hatred prayers against Morgan In Jesus Christ Name we pray . Amen.

pagomo - 30 April 2014

Tsvangirai na Chamisa are bad influence shuwa, vanga vachida kutambidzana komichi youmambo zvavo vega zvisina vamwe

Nyamhangambiri - 30 April 2014

There was nothing wrong with waiting for a congress to do away with Tsvangirai. Biti & co. just shot themselves in the foot. The people will now sympathise with Save coz it appears as if Biti is trying to wrestle power from Tsvangirai zvisiri pamutemo.

Sir Jephy - 30 April 2014

Sam Dzika the Speaker will be out of order and will be breaching the constitution which is very clear that if you are expelled from your party - I say this because Tsvangirayi had the National Executive which means he has the party, Tendayi Biti had a hired gang so did not have the party, so the party is recalling the MPs and they would be foolish to refuse and the Speaker will act ultra vires to the constitution if he does not fire them from Parliament. They are there on MDC-T ticket and they have dumped the party so must go. Biti's foundation has been shaken by new that ex Rhodies who want a violent takeover from Mugabe is sponsoring him, so let Mugabe finish with MT and then hear his vitriolic attacks on the Rhodie- Biti axis.

Maita Manyuka - 30 April 2014

It's very funny how some Zimbabweans think how can you blame Tsvangirai for zpf rigging how do u know changing leadership will stop zpf from rigging .and this Biting thing is a sellout and selfish bastard let him go the majority does not wanttanthem forward with Tsvangirai until we rescue Zimbabwe

Patricia Ndlovu - 30 April 2014

The foolishness exhibited by most of us is to think that none of us ( including Tsvangirai) is capable of presiding over the country except Mr Mugabe. We need to move out quickly from this wrong idea and accept the reality that all and any us can and has the ability to govern this country (Tsvangirai included). There is always this misconception being propelled by mainly our fellows in ZANU that this country can only be presided over by Mr Mugabe which we all know is a LIE. Any one of us (YOU,ME,YOUR BROTHER, MY SISTER, YOUR COUSIN ETC) are capable of being President, Vice President, Minister, MP for we are Zimbabweans and we meet ALL the other constitutional requirements. To pretend that Mr Mugabe is a god or God is pure folly, and the next 5 years will prove this,whether we like it or not. His end is very near and definitely he will not be President from the acre. We need to be bold and accept that that day is very nigh and prepare ourselves. It will be very gloomy, only God's intervention shall be required then. What other qualifications or qualities does he have that we do not have? the truth is NONE. That is why we have had these average or less than average guys like Kangai, Chikowore, Border Gezi, Hunzvi, Joyce Mujuru, Mutambara, and more recently Mandipaka and Chinotimba ending up in some of the most influential positions in our nation. Most of us are far better than them, as much as we are better than Mr Jacob Zuma (yet he is President of South Africa).

mosquito - 30 April 2014

Thinking about a modern democratic movement taking root while the country is still under this denouser calle zanu p is but wishful thinking. What is neeed to remove zanu pf is a powerful non compromising movement. If zapu and zanu had been run along democraic principles when they were still fighting our colonial masters, i bait nothing could have been achieved by now. A truely democratic party like the one advocated for by vanaBiti nanaNcube can not remove a party like zanu pf frm power. Look at what Ncube got in the last electios with his party purpotedly run on democratic principles, although we know zvedu kuti that was not the case as the manner Ncube showed favour and biase towards Misihairambwi for the representational seat against the majority view illustrates

Gibo - 30 April 2014

Gentlemen you must understand a constitution, this is why you see zanu pf politicians win the credits. They, and this is true, talk about Mugabe over staying in that seat, but they talk never publicly, so i don't think it was a wrong idea to fire Biti and others who have jumped the gun. Well done Save.

deeds - 30 April 2014

Aiwa kuminyiwa kwembariro hazvirevi denga rose rawa tinovashuvira rombo rakanaka ana Biti asi isu panaSave ASIJIKI NOMAKANJANI

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 30 April 2014

Can we have the full list of the people who attended Biti and Mangoma's Kangaroo Court. We need to compare it against the names of people who attended the MDC T National Council meeting at Harvest house and make up our considered assessments.

Ndaneta - 30 April 2014

Tsvangirai and his colleagues are really taking cheap political shots here - Biti and others in the MDC-T pushing for leadership change are certainly not betraying the country (or the party), they are certainly not rebels, nor are they working with ZANU-PF or former Rhodies.

freedom and prosperity for Zimbabwe - 30 April 2014

I always wonder why Zimbabwean people are so educated, many of the them with PHDs yet they cannot differentiate an apple from an orange. Now I understand how one white man told me that in Zimbabwe we study thinks that are not necessary and then brag about talking big words after university yet they cannot strategize or analyze anything. Most of our education emphasize on cramming the book rather than knowing what the book is saying. In other words we read to pass rather than reading to know so that we can use that knowledge for our everyday life. Here people are so happy about Biti's actions yet they no 100% that he is total wrong. You do not remove a leader of a party in a coup, you follow democratic process which is to convince whoever is voting at the congress that Tsvangirai should be changes. On top of that you people you do not even know what Biti and his goons are going to offer. They not even mention one thing that is bad about the current leadership that just to say, we want MDC where people do not fight. People fight in politics everywhere, republicans fight democrats physical in America and congress representatives were shot last election. In Canada ministers and MPs fight each other all the time in parliament or at their raiding and life goes on. So why not ZiMBABWE????

Parks Papindanyoka - 1 May 2014

tsvangirai is definately not the right man to lead the struggle.he is turning into a dictator himself.biti and others realised that and were brave enough to go public.tsvangirai with his type leadership will never dislodge zanu from power whether mugabe is there or not.we need a new trajectory with new people bringing in new ideas to the movement

democrat - 1 May 2014

Morgiza Macheka Karimatsenga has failed to bring results saka ngaarove pasi , popularity without results haibhadhare zvakafanana ne entertaining soccer without scores . Above all he and his team are very undemocratic and a mirror of Zanu PF only ZANU PF is very strategic compared to Save & Team ... Go Biti Go !!!

Chematama - 1 May 2014

Guys you need to think head-up. changing leadership in MDC will never stop ZANU PF from rigging. you lost the election because the election was rigged,period. Its a shame that all the people started blaming Morgan and calling for leadership renewal after the 31st elections but if they were part of the party National Council and in leadership structures,why didn't they work together,bringing up ideas for the betterment of the party??? This just shows the type of leadership the Bitis are. That type of a leader who withholds good advice because if it works it will give all the credit to his superior not him. Its a shame. Jonathan Moyo once left Zanu PF and Mugabe told him,' Jonathan you are intelligent and clever but you lack wisdom.' How true. It is the same with these Bitis and Mangomas. What is surprising me is how they are all fighting for the ownership of the name MDC. From Welshman Ncube to these latest rebels,nobody had the guts to start his own party under a different name, only Madhuku had the brains to do that. Why cant they start their own party under a different name and prove their political genuity.

shona - 1 May 2014

My dear friends dont be fooled these ploys the real enemy here is Zanu pf dont worry about Biti , mangoma and class else we lose sight of the ball. Morgan ndiye ane bhora. Ane bhora ndiye anomakwa. So dear friends the strugle is about to be won, the enemy is our of this . They are aware that they can no longer cheat. The end is near and we shall celebrate our achievements forget Makwavarara. Biti . Welsmen, Mudzuri and club. Lets contiue playing. Its almost full time and we are wining , the enemy is very afraid and will use every trick in the book to try and distract us but people we are wiser and smart. Vote Morgan Save ndizvo

RAYMOND - 2 May 2014

The cleansing operation is not done yet!! Mudzuri should be sniffed out, he is part of Biti/Mangoma (HIFA) drama club/group

Mukanya - 2 May 2014

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