Dejected Biti cries foul

HARARE - A devastated Tendai Biti on Wednesday described the expulsion of 21 legislators from his MDC renewal team as tragic, vowed to contest the legislation which empowers political parties to recall Members of Parliament.

At a press conference that was largely attended by distraught expelled legislators, Biti sensationally claimed that officials from the mainstream MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai surreptitiously held meetings with Zanu PF officials prior to the decision.

“That decision is a heavy blow to democracy and the democratic agenda in Zimbabwe, that decision will allow the virtual handover and transfer to Zanu PF of seats that democracy players were occupying in both chambers,” said an unusually subdued Biti.

Gone was the bluster, as the former Finance minister claimed victimisation of his “vibrant” faction.

Speaker Jacob Mudenda and Senate President Edna Madzongwe made the announcement on Wednesday following a recent letter to the august House by MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora recalling the legislators — 17 of them from the National Assembly and four from the Senate — after they allegedly aligned themselves with the UMDC.

Mudenda had played the matter to touch last year, referring the MDC to Zimbabwe’s courts when the main opposition party attempted to recall the lawmakers.

He argued then that the matter was sub judice since a matter regarding the leadership legitimacy in the party was before the courts.

But Mudenda informed the House on Wednesday that he now accepted that lawmakers no longer represented the MDC’s interests in Parliament.

Biti, a constitutional law expert, said the move to expel the 21 lawmakers from Zimbabwe’s Parliament is unprecedented in the Westminster history of the legislature.

Westminster is the name given to the system of parliamentary democracy used in countries such as Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Under the system Parliaments are elected by the people.

“Democracy is a very simple process, people elect their representatives and the people themselves have the ultimate say on who can go to Parliament, not a political party, not even the Speaker of Parliament, it does not happen and it is not provided in the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” Biti said.

The Tsvangirai led-MDC successfully recalled the 21 MPs on the grounds that they had ceased to be members of the opposition party after forming their renewal team outfit.

Biti said he and his ousted MPs never left the MDC or formed another party, saying two centres of power existed within the opposition movement.

The former legislator said it is incredulous that aspirations of the electorate who voted for them in the 2013 elections can be quashed by a simple ruling from the Speaker of House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda.

“To think that you can defeat the aims and desires of the concerned persons either as a political party or as the speaker of Parliament I think it is undemocratic, this is not supported by our Constitution and I think it is a reflection of our predatory politics,” he said.

With the MDC adamant that it would not participate in any by-elections before reforms, Biti said his erstwhile comrades in opposition politics have handed “some no-go areas” like Bulawayo to Zanu PF on a silver platter.

“The position taken by our erstwhile comrades is a reflection of naivety and amateurism, it is a reflection of total surrender to powerful forces of despotism, and those spaces are going to be very difficult to recover,” Biti said.                       

Comments (40)

There is no problem here Mr Biti, if your guys were elected by people because the people wanted them, let then just contest again and they will be re-elected. You will see for yourself who do the people want you or Tsvangirai

Masfar - 20 March 2015

when Biti and his team gathered against Morgan it was democratic , betraying the good cause that Zim had rolled was democratic , but the expulsion of the misguided elements from the parliament is now undemocratic ? Biti, this is a reality check , now you will have to prove your mantle in the next elections Mugabe will use all machinery available to him to consolidate power and none of your myopic former legislators will win a seat including yourself . our agenda was to remove mugabe and you and your team fought all way to remove Morgan ... deal with mugabe first then Morgan

Cde Svinurai - 20 March 2015

NO PLOBLEM MR BITI,COME THE BY-ELECTIONS YOUR FORMER MPs WILL BE RE-ELECTED IF YOUR PARTY IS SON POPULAR AS YOU CLAIM.ITS TIME TO RIDE THE REAL LION NOT CLUNG ON SOBODY BACK.FACE IT MR POPULAR PARTY.

GENERAL - 20 March 2015

Biti ! Please don't confuse us. We thought you were setting up something and now you are going back and forth. How can we respect you as a leader. When the Tekeres, Ndabaningi Sitholes, Dabengwaz and even Welsman Ncubes left their respective parties they did not sit on the fence like you are doing. You don't deserve to lead the Renewal Team. Mangoma has more guts for a leader.

Dereck - 20 March 2015

Naive that's what you are being Mr Biti. If you are really sure that the people voted for you just start your campaign and fight it out. This is a chance to prove yourself and your new party. This is the easiest way to justify your decision to quit the MDC T. What I see now is a leader does not believe in his project. Remember it is make or break time for most of you guys. Personally I think this may be the end of your political careers ,ie, if you don't swallow your pride...

Point Blank - 20 March 2015

There is no problem Biti here.Why going to court then?Thake this matter to the people in your constituencies and they will definately re elect you back if you are trully representing people in your constituencies.That is the best way forward.

John - 20 March 2015

biti u are the one started it all. if a democratic why did u form another party than to fight from with to make opposition strong. u divided the opposition why are u crying. u support zanu pf.

benjamin - 20 March 2015

wamama biti,nagutu wepachinhoyi

ngwena - 20 March 2015

Well done Mwonzora - you have now decreased the number of opposition members, and increased Mugabe's grip on power.

david taylor - 20 March 2015

When will the Daily News stop referring to parliament as 'august'. There is nothing august about it. Our parliament is a barely functioning mess.

david taylor - 20 March 2015

l thot you said you fired Tsvangirai all the rebels where are they now

Kuda - 20 March 2015

Funny Parliament! Gamatox claims he is the REAL Zanu(PF) and Biti claims he is the REAL MDC. So parliament has been hijacked by impostors.... KKKK .. Jambamba mu Parli . kkk

Dereck - 20 March 2015

Its True Mr Biti that in a democratic society ,MP are elected by the people,they should be removed by the people.How about people like me who elected you because you were MDC T the Party I am so fond of.Now you reneged and formed your own Party .So I would need my vote back so that I can vote for someone who is in MDC T.But if my President said we don't contest until electoral reforms,I am happy not to contest and have no hard feelings chero Zanu PF ikahwina zvirinane nekuti imi hamuchandimiririri seMDC T MAVA KUMIRIRA VAMWEWO asi makabata vote ticket yangu,nekuti kudai maiva Independent ndaisakuvhoterai

Manu - 20 March 2015

Mahumbwe in the August house. Zimbos precious time being unwittingly wasted by these morons namely Zanu pf, MDC t, UMDC, speaker and deputy speaker. Zimbos are suffering while you are busy arguing for seats. Chokwadi here?

Gwenaz - 20 March 2015

asekuru Biti amhuwone here kuti amhuna dhiri , makuchemaka coz u knw you never be in parliament again in your life- wamama.

true suppoter - 20 March 2015

Nhai vanhuwe chii chinotaurwa naBiti?Iyi ndiyo Mbiti chaiyo.Unochemei nhai iwe uine support just go for elections then you take your seat back.Zvakapusa and easy une support saka unetyekei nhai???Ita semunhu akaenda kuchikoro mhani,handiti Tsvangirai haana kuenda kuchikoro?Ndizvo munofamba muchitaura u think kutonga kunoda chikoro.Iwe nechikoro chako enda kuma elections uhwine tione?Moda kutijairira vana Mbiti you claim to have support saka go for elections and win kwete kutitaurira zvekunyepa.Iwe ndiwe wakapuhwa mari neZanu Pf unoti hatizvizivi.

MAGAMBA - 20 March 2015

wazoona zuva ririkuno kuti harijairiki.....itouya utore zvimaputi izvi hameno ukazvigona...chawaiona hachisi chibage mashanga. Takakuvhotera ukazofunga zvako wamberi saka wakura chizvionera Biti.

Zvimasadza - 20 March 2015

The greatest bad guys, you understand where they're coming from. They believe they're doing the right thing. Sometimes it's for greed, sometimes it's for other reasons, but they are what they call the center of good. They always believe they're doing the right thing.

Chemical Solution - 20 March 2015

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.The above fits well for the RENEWAL TEAM.Eat your humble pie .You want to change the constitution because its against you r path.Makuvara,Solo, Paul you have dug your grave and buried.No resurection guys.Gone for good.

Chemical Solution - 20 March 2015

Morgiza having the last and longest laugh. Dzinonzi poltiks kana kuti ndare Tendai ayisi law iyi.

Nyimo - 20 March 2015

Morgiza having the last and longest laugh. Dzinonzi poltiks kana kuti ndare Tendai ayisi law iyi.

Nyimo - 20 March 2015

Morgiza having the last and longest laugh. Dzinonzi poltiks kana kuti ndare Tendai ayisi law iyi.

Nyimo - 20 March 2015

Morgiza having the last and longest laugh. Dzinonzi poltiks kana kuti ndare Tendai ayisi law iyi.

Nyimo - 20 March 2015

Morgiza having the last and longest laugh. Dzinonzi poltiks kana kuti ndare Tendai ayisi law iyi.

Nyimo - 20 March 2015

Morgiza having the last and longest laugh. Dzinonzi poltiks kana kuti ndare Tendai ayisi law iyi.

Nyimo - 20 March 2015

Morgiza having the last and longest laugh. Dzinonzi poltiks kana kuti ndare Tendai ayisi law iyi.

Nyimo - 20 March 2015

Biti should not be devastated since he is the authour of his own downfall. He started his renewal joke so he must stick to it and fight it out via elections to really prove that he is popular.

Taffy - 20 March 2015

i honestly dont understand Biti's argument. I dont see how MDC-T donated seats to Zanu PF. The MDC Renewal MP were chosen by people in their respective areas, they simply register as Renewal team members and win back their seats. No one will bother them again in the future. This will a statement to MDCT and Zanu pf that there is a new kid on the block. What makes them thing that they will not win the election. why do they want to be MP by hook and crook.

prof - 20 March 2015

I used to respect Tendai Biti. Look at the way he contributed to the sudden turn around of the Zim economy when in the GNU. I used to love the firebrand young politician and I saw him riding and flying high on the echelons of power in Zimbabwe. I saw him being a president of Zimbabwe one day. But Tendai, this path he chose, he is doomed to political abyss! ' I am telling you Tendai, you are gone'. Mark my words. Our Zim politics is not at that level where its values intelligence. Its mostly party politics. Once you off load yourself from the boat you are gone. Prove me wrong! Where is Simba Makoni? Where is Dumiso Dabengwa? just to name a few. Now history.

zolak - 20 March 2015

I do agree with you Mr Biti on the simplicity of democracy but its politicians like you who complicate it. You take the electorate for a ride by hurriedly making personal decisions which have grave effects on the very people who elected. People voted for you because you were in MDC-T and when you decided to form MDC - Renewal did you consult the very people whom you are now claiming that they hold the power to determine your political destiny. You erred from the beginning and the end is disastrous. The very people who voted Mr Biti into parliament on an MDC-T ticket are waiting to put an X on their preferred party and candidate. MDC-T has no power to hand over their vote to ZANU P.F. even if it boycotts the by-election. Mr Biti you renewed yourself but you forgot to do likewise to the electorate. Be bold enough to go and face their vengeance (do you have the courage, I doubt it) . Just try, you will win by a landslide since MDC-T is not participating.

Fidel Castro - 20 March 2015

looking from taylor's point of view. our opposition politics is now a joke. how can you recall pms when u know that u are not going to contest the by elections. Tsvangirai is just trying to hand over 21 more seats to ZPF. A good intelligence opposition leader would have first pushed for the electroral reforms , then recall the pms. thanks to u RGM is going to incrase his majority grip to power

cytron - 21 March 2015

infact there is nothing to lose if MDC doent participate in these elections since it is a wasted period from 2013 until 2015.

The Atomic - 21 March 2015

The renewal decision shocked me in the first place. It seems to me Biti was used by zanu pf to try and divide MDC. aka piwha chibhanzi mhani uyu. I Zanu pf . mANJE MDC yasara. iwe wamama

lodza - 21 March 2015

When Biti and Mangoma decided to break away from the party which had brought them to parly they thought they were the cleverest politicians in the land . They were even cheered on by Mugabe to do so . While burying some one at heroes acre Mugabe said Morgan must leave Biti alone and not interfere with him . A rare support indeed which raised many eye brows and Magoma and Biti thought this was it the best of the best political boost they were longing for hey madoda . Now where is your newly found supporter Mugabe mr Biti ? Now who is more educated in this situation Morgan or you ? I doubt if Biti is educated bcoz the law plainly says if you leave the political party which brought you to parliament you expel yourself from parliament .Trying to bring stupid technicalities will never help you just agree you were stupid to be fooled by zanu to try and destroy the people 's project . Shame on you blood traitor .

Diibulaanyika - 21 March 2015

Politics world over can be equated to chess, a strategy game, better not played in a rush and impulsive manner. Biti had a very strategic position in the MDC that if he had played his cards strategically would have given unsophisticated Morgan enough rope to hang himself and he would have stepped into the leadership he was poised. But lack of strategy, leadership, loose mouth and above all impulsive reactions to all situations assissted by their spokesman has been their undoing. Biti was very much involved in the crafting of the current constitution he should have known that movement or being expelled from the party on whose ticket you went to parliament meant a recall. Biti seems yet again to display his incapacity to seperate the law from politics of party. Mature a bit Biti and come back when you have politically matured mellowed and try again.

chamboko - 21 March 2015

I don't understand the contradictions.Why is it "democratic" for Elton Mangoma to try to recall Morgan from elected leadership of the MDC yet "undemocratic" when Morgan recalls MPs elected on the MD C ticket.

Selby - 24 March 2015

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