'Biti messed up'

HARARE - Tendai Biti's  attempt to overthrow Morgan Tsvangirai outside congress and head off an alleged imminent transformation of the MDC into a “fiefdom for the opposition leader” was blatantly unconstitutional, a top MDC policy chief has said.

Months before an extraordinary congress to put the leadership challenge to rest, Biti and his co-conspirators have refused to subject themselves to the special congress convened by the MDC leader, who the rebels have accused of “remarkable failure of leadership.”

There is a veritable power crisis in the MDC that continues to generate instability ahead of the congress, but top policy chief Eddie Cross has said the ex-secretary general-led walk out of senior leadership was doomed to consign the renewal team to the dustbin of history after congress.

Notably, Biti's action immediately violated the parameters of the MDC constitution, when the pretence of leadership renewal manifested into a regime change operation, Cross said.

Legal advisers in the Biti group  administration then made the claim that  the MDC’s national council had voted to suspend Tsvangirai because the party had been “transformed into a fiefdom of the leader.”

Tsvangirai dismissed the meeting that suspended him as "illegal, unconstitutional, illegitimate and bogus".

A few days later, Tsvangirai's MDC responded by expelling Biti, Elton Mangoma, Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo, the interim chairperson of the group, and others.

Cross said the intervention by the renewal team was legally dubious from the beginning.

Like 2005 when the then secretary-general Welshman Ncube led a putsch to oust Tsvangirai, Cross said elements in the MDC again manoeuvred to try and take control and eventually, in a weird rerun of October 2005, only a small minority joined the “dissidents” in their call for leadership renewal outside the rules laid down in the MDC Constitution.

While Ncube had five out of the “Top Six” when he walked out of the MDC in 2005, this time Biti is backed by an insignificant number of the top officials, denting his power challenge, Cross said. 

“We are now well down that road and again, Morgan Tsvangirai has retained the support and loyalty of the great majority of MDC supporters nationwide,” Cross said.

“This support is reflected in all structures, the standing committee, the national executive, the national council and all provincial and district assemblies. The most recent meeting of MDC councillors in Harare that attracted well over 90 percent of all elected officials nationwide was just another example of this ascendency."

The dispute has spilled into Parliament where Tsvangirai’s group sought the recall of all legislators backing Biti.

But Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda told the feuding factions to take their fight to the courts.

The divisions in the MDC follow its defeat in the July 2013 elections. The election ended the coalition the MDC and Zanu PF had formed after disputed elections in 2008. Cross said he was flabbergasted by Biti and Mangoma’s attempt to use illegal means to dethrone Tsvangirai.

“What I find difficult to understand is how such capable and intelligent people like Biti and Mangoma, both good friends of mine, can talk of leadership renewal via a route that is totally outside the provisions of the very party constitution that they crafted when they were in the MDC,” Cross said.

The MDC policy chief predicted that the congress would buoy Tsvangirai and put the leadership challenge to rest.

“We are now preparing for our national congress likely to be held later this year and when we do come together, I have no doubt at all that Morgan Tsvangirai will be re-elected president of the MDC and charged with the responsibility of carrying the flag of real change into the electoral battles that lie ahead,” Cross said.

“And if Zanu PF continues to carry on in the manner that they are doing at the moment, then I for one would not be surprised at all to see them beaten, soundly this time, by a resurgent MDC under Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership.

“The leadership debris of the process in the MDC is not made up of bodies but of failed challengers who are simply cast aside by the democratic process and the loyalty of ordinary Zimbabweans from every walk of life to the man who has literally given his life so that they can expect better from their elected leaders in the future.”

Jacob Mafume, spokesman for Biti's renewal team, alleged there were “blunt attempts” at re-branding and rehabilitation of the “expelled” leader of the MDC.

“We all love Eddie Cross and his effervescence, unfortunately, like effervescence, his predictions often disappear into thin air, like the effervescence of a bottle that has been opened,” Mafume told the Daily News yesterday.

“If you look at his colourful past, he has always given these predictions that bring a warm feeling to one’s heart and I am sure Morgan Tsvangirai’s heart and his colleagues have been warmed but tragically that is the only thing they will gain from the prediction coming from the analysis given by Cross.

“We all know that he is the one who initiated the renewal discussion and he wrote an email that was well circulated urging Morgan Tsvangirai to step aside for the good of the movement and the country.

That was a well reasoned opinion devoid of ‘hail Mary’ optimism.”

The renewal team spokesman said there was nothing unconstitutional about calling for Tsvangirai’s  ouster after serving beyond two terms.

Comments (37)

mafume anondisembura ini

ndadii - 10 July 2014

Of course Tsvangirai may have erred but it was never for the 'renewal team' to shout about. There was a diplomatic & constitutional way to deal with the mater in an amicable manner without making unnecessary noise. The renewal team has behaved clandestinely,proving their sinister agenda against a constitutionally elected leader.Surely,the renewal team sold out the struggle thus betraying the people big time.The enemy is smiling right now as it is clear Biti&his team are fighting the opposition.This is simply unforgivable to say the least.

JAKUCHICHI DONGAWATONGA - 10 July 2014

Manyorero ako sahwira ndoanongoitwa nevanhu vanorambira pazvigaro. constitutionally ellected leaders leaders who disregard morality should be removed one way or the other. It is Tvsangis who sold out by first changing the constitution so that he keeps power and then second arrogant moral behaviour. You have to understand that some and perhaps a big number will not trust such characters. He should simply pass the baton to someone else even you my brother.

taurai - 10 July 2014

for biti to leave the mdc and team up with intelligent but pathetic mangoma and mafume. the self appointed spokesperson mafume has words and comments for everything. I honestly think these so called renewal team guys leaving THE PEOPLE'S PARTY is some kind of self cleansing. to the struggle and party I say GOOD RIDDANCE, zim has real warriors ready to fight in the corridors of power and bring good gorvance kwete vezvibhakera

mhoro - 10 July 2014

for biti to leave the mdc and team up with intelligent but pathetic mangoma and mafume. the self appointed spokesperson mafume has words and comments for everything. I honestly think these so called renewal team guys leaving THE PEOPLE'S PARTY is some kind of self cleansing. to the struggle and party I say GOOD RIDDANCE, zim has real warriors ready to fight in the corridors of power and bring good gorvance kwete vezvibhakera

mhoro - 10 July 2014

Why do people judge Morgan harshly when it comes to his private life.How many in the leadership can cast the stone?How many divorces have we read about in the newspapers?As for failure to dislodge Zanu Pf,that was a collective effort including Tendai that could not yield expected results.

chimuti - 10 July 2014

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water.. - 10 July 2014

Tsvangison never changed any consititution. It was changed by the party. One person can never change the consitution of the party. stop lying. Biti was invloved. Its them who have become power hungry and are encouraged by zanu pf to destroy the pary, who are are tried to sidestep the constitution and remove an elected leader to instal themselves as leaders but the party is bigger than them. Follow the consititution. kana une shungu yekuita president Biti huya kucongress in Oct and put your name in the hat for election kwete zvekuda kusveverera neseri kwedorr senyoka. Unotya ka?

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 10 July 2014

Ndopatinokonana nemaChinja ipapo, Why being run by Eddie Cross mu Sealous Scout akauraya thousands of our people. Who is Ian Kay, Bennet? Cant there be an MDC of our own making? Kana mavakunzi zvimbasungata musazoramba.

Don Wezhira - 10 July 2014

This guys is confused .....Hapana ma prediction ake akamboita spot on....And didn't he call for Tsvangirayi to step aside? And he served under Mugabe&ZANU(PF) as General Manager of Dairoboard and CSC(albeit with poor results) before opening up a butcher but even that failed and he was declared insolvent...This guy has a DIPLOMA in Agriculture and yet the MDC and Tsvangirayi look at him as some sort of economic expert even pitting him against PHD's in Financial Economics like Mthuli Ncube just because he is white

wezhira wezhara - 10 July 2014

General Peter Walls was the first army general in Zimbabwe. ZANU PF received billions of dollars from white farmers but no one ever called them zvimbwasungata. RGM called for reconciliation with whites when it suited him.We cannot look back&say who did what during the liberation struggle.There are plenty former selous scouts in ZANU PF today. David Smith & Chris Anderson were typical Rhodesian racists but they were once appointed ministers in the ZANU PF government.Right now ZANU PF is full of former MADZAKUTSAKU & who cares??

JAKUCHICHI DONGAWATONGA - 10 July 2014

biti is wasting his time.silly man.morgan ndizvo

malvern - 10 July 2014

Regai Biti aturayewo at leadership. There is no harm in trying. Those who want to follow Save carry on. There is no need to castigate one onother. Zviro zviyedzwa.

zvirozviyedzwa - 10 July 2014

Leadership is about wisdom. The man would have known that poor moral practices would be used against him especially considering that he is not in power yet. He comes across as one who abuses power even before he got it. That cost him and his party credibility the world over. In this move, Biti is right. Politicians should know that every action has a reaction.

taurai - 10 July 2014

Morgan is the candidate as long as evil Mugabe is alive even beyond 2023 God permitting.

Giriad - 10 July 2014

When Biti gave the party a surname to be called mdc.T, was he not aware that the magic in Zim opposition politics lies in the T.

Jairos - 10 July 2014

Biti failed dismally in 2013 as a sec.gen.It was better off for him to jst resign as sec.gen together with the top brass but remain in the party as a back bencher. Tsvangirai goes nowhere cause he is the icon of the struggle. The icon of zimbabwe opposition politics.

Porij - 10 July 2014

The only people who appreciate the Biti Renewal project are the greedy ones who failed to get powerful positions in their former mdc party. Their only problem is they have no grassroots following and are doomed to fail like Gusen Mtambara.

Sekuru Gudo - 10 July 2014

Its so pathetic that the Daily News, besides trying its best to be Tsvancry's mouth piece and bootlicker, its also sinking together with this idiot, nowadays you look stupid to be sen clutching a copy of the daily rubbish. Am sure your sells statistic can tell, even if you look at the vendors a bunch of yr copies will still be on display well in the dark hours of the night.

reason - 11 July 2014

Zvimbwasungata ringori inzwi rokutuka chete risina zvarinoreva if we are to critically examine ZANU PF's behaviour from the word go.There are so many empty slogans in ZANU PF. People are fed up such that you can't call for even a cell or branch meeting anywhere especially in the urban areas. As for the confused BITI team,we find him praising Mugabe one day&talking bad things about the same Mugabe the next day. What a confused man.

sukuzu apo - 11 July 2014

There is absolutely nothing pathetic about the DAILY NEWS as a newspaper.It is just one's myopic imagination to say the DAILY NEWS is Tsvangirai's mouth piece.Equally the same there is nothing stupid about holding the DAILY NEWS which seems to be one of Reason's favourate given his daily comments on this newspaper.

VHAIRAI - 11 July 2014

Has anyone noticed, REASON never says anything positive? If you don't like what they write why do you bother reading it mapepa akawanda

brains - 11 July 2014

is it reason wafavarowa here ichi cheherald

smart - 11 July 2014

TSVANGIRAYI will rule thi country and he will re address economic rot????

REAL MDC - 11 July 2014

TSVANGIRAYI will rule thi country and he will re address economic rot????

REAL MDC - 11 July 2014

It may take long but we hope MT will one day rule&sort out this economic mess.We can't be fooled by the so called men of God who fear & appease the self-serving leaders saying,''ONLY GOD CAN SAVE ZIMBABWE.'' God has already given Zimbabwe natural resources & good brains to run the country but we have greedy leaders who have to be confronted&be told the truth that they are destroying our God given wealth.

NYAKUDYIWA - 11 July 2014

The so called renewal or renal team whatever it is called,is good riddance to bad rubbish.

mambo - 11 July 2014

biti mangoma and company zivai kuti zimbos are not fightinting for leadership not fighting morgan its about democratic rule of the nation mazotaika manje

vimbai - 11 July 2014

tsvangirai and mugabe 2 bad superstars here to rule forever UNTIL DONKEYS GROW HORNS

Harare - 12 July 2014

If Tsvangis rules the country that would be very unfortunate for our country. This guy is another handiende. He will ensure that he plays all tricks in the politics book to ensure that he stays till he is 90. We want a progressive country in which leaders are given limited terms of office not unlimited as it is today. Thats why i think the Biti option is a good alternative. It should be easy for the electorate to replace leadership whenever there was credible need.

zvirozviyedzwa - 13 July 2014

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