'Biti project will collapse'

HARARE - The opposition coalition being mooted by expelled MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti is doomed to fail, analysts say.

Biti hopes to challenge the two dominant political parties, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s MD.

Founded during a series of recent meetings with other opposition parties and with cautious support from Western donors, the coalition aims to garner support to break the current opposition stalemate, defeat the Mugabe regime and establish a fresh government.

Analysts say instead of seeking to unify the country’s increasingly-fractious opposition, the coalition is driven by sectarian intellectual interests and a shocking appetite for donor funds, while detached from the grassroots.

Critics says unless this divide is reconciled, the coalition will face the same fiasco as its defunct predecessor, the grand coalition, which tried to create an opposition alliance ahead of the July 31 vote. Worse still, it will further encourage the hegemonic power by one group over others as leaders carve out and consolidate their own power bases.

Biti’s new coalition is attempting to create a more inclusive force and broaden its appeal to the Zimbabwean population and is trying to bring in key leaders from the heart of opposition, including smaller MDC faction leader Welshman Ncube, Dumiso Dabengwa of Zapu,  Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly and businessman Mutumwa Mawere.

The group has tried to court Simba Makoni, but the former Sadc executive secretary yesterday announced that he is backing Tsvangirai, apparently spurning Biti and his team. 

It is not the first time this has been tried. In 2005, the then MDC secretary-general Ncube and his allies in the top echelon of MDC leadership, ditched Tsvangirai to form their breakaway faction.

In the aftermath of the 2005 split, Ncube and his party became an insignificant group in the political landscape while Tsvangirai went on to win the first round of the presidential elections in 2008, but fell short of the majority, thereby setting the stage for a run-off election that was blighted by political violence, culminating in the formation of a coalition government between Tsvangirai and Mugabe.

Six years later, another MDC secretary-general has dumped Tsvangirai saying he is undemocratic.

The coalition advocates are planning a convention where churches, political parties, civil society and other stakeholders will officially launch the new baby soon.

Eldred Masunungure, a political analyst, said the coalition is doomed as it will consist of politicians who are not equals.

“I think the coalition of Biti and partners will not work because one group will have more hegemonic power over others and I don’t see that working,” Masunungure told the Daily News.

“Biti is coming into the coalition bigger than Dabengwa, Ncube and Makoni. No matter how you want to look at it, Biti will dominate the coalition and I don’t see others accepting that.

“I have serious reservations about the coalition because I don’t think it is viable and sustainable. It was possible for Zanu to go into a coalition in 1987 with Zapu because the two were big liberation movements. Mugabe and (Joshua) Nkomo were equals and that is why the unity pact worked.”

Analysts say the coalition is largely made up of intellectuals who are detached from the grassroots as evidenced by the 50 people who graced Biti’s recent Manicaland rally.

Piers Pigou, the International Crisis Group’s southern Africa project director, said the coalition will not work in the short-term.

He said in the long run, if the coalition manages to rally the masses behind its cause, the group might become relevant.

“I think this depends on whether the proposed coalition decides to focus on electoral politics, or to try and reconnect with a broader range of constituencies through the establishment of a mooted united democratic front,” Pigou said.

“Can it present a ‘third way’, an alternative to MDC-T and Zanu PF? This seems very unlikely in the short to medium term, and its fortunes in future ballots will be contingent on its ability to motivate and mobilise a support base that subsequently registers and votes.

“The proposed coalition is likely to have more resonance with a broader range of Zimbabweans if it focused its attention and messaging on core issues that affect ordinary Zimbabweans, that is unemployment, poverty, service delivery, corruption etc.

“So, in terms of its import for the future, much depends on how it approaches ordinary Zimbabweans and the credibility it can build amongst those who must now be very wary about the bona fides of the country’s political leadership,” added Pigou.

Comments (51)

Biti ane shungu. And he will have been misled by the role he played in the GNU, where in one year he was voted/won somehow the Best Finance Minister in Africa following his appointment by Tsvangirai. Akabva amera zenze, hanzi ndini ndinozvigona stereki.

Mike Hove - 8 May 2014

haaa better tiite bi-elections so the grassroots can decide. better seat iyende zvayo kuRulling Party than work with sell-outs.

chitova - 8 May 2014

Biti is being driven by greed and power hunger. The opposition will not succeed through fragmentation as Biti is myopically trying to do. Biti, you will fail and dismally. What a pity to see another Julius Malema in Zimbabwe.

Nathaniel Jacob - 8 May 2014

It is worrying that when things seem not to be getting better in Zimbabwe, we have some people keen to perpetuate the status quo. What Biti has done, is an act that he will not be forgiven by those who are keen to see change not just political change, but change in their lives too. So much has happened over the long rule of Zanu PF. What has happened has wiped away hope from most of Zimbabweans and drove them to acres of misery. Sometime in 2000 hope came along with the formation of MDC despite the hardship, persecution, torture, arbitrary arrests, disappearances & displacement and even killings, people remained resolute because they wanted change. Change that would make them respected citizens. But in 2005 Professor Ncube pursued a one man policy against all. This created a fissure to the party subsequently impacting on the performance of MDC in the elections that followed. We thought people like Biti would learn, but fools don't learn. In 2014 Biti thinks he is bigger than the MDC, and tries to destabilise it. He forgets that people have learned from the past that there will be people like Pro Ncube who will come in form of Biti. MDC will remain focused and with the past experience the true leadership in MDC will soldier on. People's will prevail. Biti has actually condemned himself to a political abyss and he will never come back. Go Lucifer.

Gatsheni Wako Hwanqa - 8 May 2014

daily news makamaka Biti imi ...kubva maita kunge herald ya Tsvangirai so

jachu - 9 May 2014

"the coalition is driven by sectarian intellectual interests and a shocking appetite for donor funds, while detached from the grassroots"

Falcon - 9 May 2014

Piers Pigou, look Biti and his coalition are not looking at a long term goal....they want quick wins...these guys tasted power during the GNU and they have a huge desprate apetite for power and are obsessed!

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 9 May 2014

I do not see any problem with Biti trying to challenge for political prominence. He cannot be forever in the shadow of someone else. Politics is a gamble.

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Kelvin Kay - 9 May 2014

mkoma biti isu tinoziva tsvangson, kubva 1999 zvinhu zvakaoma ndiye akasimuka pavarume vese kuti izvi zvirikuitwa na mgabe handizvoba isu vakadzi tese nevarume takati vavava. we owe it to him to give him a chance to rule this land and believe me the time will come. izvi zvenyu zvamakuita its out of yr own interest ende handizvoba, nyangwe save vakatadza pano neapa asika kuti tsvangira ndokuti mdc ka. mese hamukwanise kumisidzana na baba chatunga head to head asi iye chematama ndiye chete akazvikwanisa uye ndiye chete waticha supporter nyangwe akaita vakadzi vashanu tinomuda zvakadaro. The face of mdc is tsvangson ende unozviziva biti saka kana waenda ayewa enda hako into the wilderness, you are not bigger than the mdc, kuti mdc vanhu uye kana vanhu vasingakude kupinda panyanga haufe wakapapinda enda hako kune mumwe wako Welshman hatinei newe kana wasarudza nzira iyoyo. the issue is about putting the interest of Zimbabweans first you purport to love and if you do and I mean if you do you must apologise and go back to be the sg and I tell you the people of zim will respect you more

bonie - 9 May 2014

feya feya mbiti hailume

the analyst - 9 May 2014

This is really sad. Biti and all the clowns rallying behind him are sick and we do not need this in Zimbabwe. To be honest Biti does not have the suffering of people at heart. Instead he has a big ego that needs to be tamed. This guy has been in bed with ZANU-PF SHIT during the unit government and has been fingered in some corrupt deals with vana Gono so he is now singing for his supper. He has to deliver to the evil party so that it can perpetuate its hold on power corruption at the expense of the long suffering Zimbabwe majority. Biti and has group do not care so long as they sell out to the evil party and smile all the way to the bank. Biti this is not student politics and the sooner you and your mad gang realizes this the better. Muchaonyatso kuona kana ZANU -PF SHIT vapedza kukushandisai you will be worse off than a tissue paper. Pay back time always comes. ZANU-PF SHIT LUCIFER saw your huge appetite for money and dangled it for you. You swallowed the bet and its pay back time for you Biti. Hence all these efforts to cause unnecessary confusion and splits in MDC-T. You are paying back your masters. God is watching. SHAME on you

vongai - 9 May 2014

Daily News vanotyira Tsvangirayi wavo.....If its not Biti is doomed it is ZANU is failing,everyone is wrong except Tsvangi???????

wezhira wezhara - 9 May 2014

Biti wants to confuse the majority of Zimbabwean who want change, jus like Welshman, there is no opposition party that can stand against Zanu. The MDC must admit they have failed or form a one opposition party, have been supporting e Mdc but have realised the party lacks direction and is full of power hungry individuals.

skhwehle - 9 May 2014

TO HELL WTH MDC

SKHULU - 9 May 2014

'the coalition is driven by sectarian intellectual interests and a shocking appetite for donor funds..' and you also forgot to state that TSVANCRY'S gang is driven by clueless and idiotic chancers who have long been rejected by the Zimbabwean electorate,

reason - 9 May 2014

give the strategist a chance you will later realise that he is right

bhoramusango - 9 May 2014

i do concur with whoever said daily news hates biti, yo paper is no different with herald, tsvangirai was given too many chances if not penalties which he blew over the bar haashaye zvekutaura hanzi ndabirirwa what surprises me you dont write about it, nyaya dzake dzevakadzi u remained quiet as if nothin had happened thats very bad for our opposition politics. Biti should be given a chance ,it is better for the party to split coz tsvangson will never win an election even if all the pple are rallying behind him-there is more to elections than the mere masses--truly hubris is really killin tsvangson,

gejo - 9 May 2014

wananchi kkkkkkkkkkk kutsvaga mari against working for the peoples hope of a better zim by having a stronger opposition.greedy wananchi

mbiti yatota - 9 May 2014

Biti has always been greedy looked down at Tsvangirai as a nonentity .Tsvangirai kept him close and failed to reign him in and now this is politics at work.the real politics,sad this gives the ruling party a lesson on what factionalism will do to them and a team is already patching up and astronger ruling party emerging.Pity opposition politics of chance and money generation.mbiti yatota you said it correctly

muturahata - 9 May 2014

Only the gullible say Biti is a strategist. All Biti has done & foolishly is betraying the struggling masses of Zimbabwe. His breaking away from MT using Mangoma as his front simply shows how cowardly Biti is. Of cause it is well known that all those false supporters of BT are in fact disguised ZPF pple. It is not DAILY NEWS's business to organize for BT poor rallies.There is just no biased reporting against BT. The so-called "STRATEGIST" is a clear failure.He does not have any meaningful support.The pple of Zw know what they want & who mis fighting on their side.Biti's law degree is not everything.TO HELL WITH HIM.

NYEPAI - 12 May 2014

MDC T are creating another dictator in Tsvangirai just like Zimbabweans created a monster in Mugabe.

Guvhu Mupariwa - 13 May 2014

Tsvangirai is a good opposition leader. Biti will transform the opposition into government

Guvhu Mupariwa - 13 May 2014

Oh Biti! goodbye to your political career, politics its about the will of the people, much as you may not fancy Mugabe he has some appeal from the people, Tsvangiston does have some appeal from some people, even ZANU PF knows kuti anevanhu, a few sympathetic academics,frustrated politicians and donors is the worst basis of forming a party. Iyezvino ZANU PF yakatopedza newe, MDC-T is working on your exit. Go back to your masters and tell them , "the grand plan aint working, this guy is stronger than we thought and meanwhile we still have to deal with ZANU PF. If we plan another bombing of my house it wont work, i am no longer a threat to anyone, give me the last bunch of my money i go"

Muprofita - 13 May 2014

Hapana ma 'political analyst' who think Biti will succeed here? Or is Daily News following agenda of propping up Tsvangirayi?

wezhira wezhara - 15 May 2014

Biti u a lost better 4 u to say to all Zimbabweans i fil pity 4 u

caston - 15 May 2014

Biti u a lost better 4 u to say sorry to all Zimbabweans i fil pity 4 u

caston - 15 May 2014

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