Mugabe king of dictators: Biti

HARARE - Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti has slammed President Robert Mugabe, labelling the 93-year-old as the “king” and “Pope of all African dictators who just but created a crisis that needs dynamic leadership to deal with”.

The former Finance minister told his supporters in Bulawayo at an Africa Day commemoration event on Thursday that Mugabe — seen as a hero by some on the continent for fighting to end British rule in Zimbabwe in 1980 and repossessing land from the colonialists — had presided over an economic meltdown marked by cash shortages, corruption and the breakdown of the rule of law.

Biti said Mugabe was the king of a coterie of Africa’s longest-serving dictators, including Gnassingbé Ayadema who presided over Togo for 38 years, Omar Bongo of Gabon who oppressed his people for decades only to throne his son Ali Bongo Ondimba as his successor, Mobutu Seseko who had to be chased away only to die in exile and Idi Amin who maimed and killed his kith.

He said Mugabe was the king of this bunch of “little-big men,” adding that the nonagenarian’s “balance sheet reflects mediocrity, recklessness and ruthlessness.”

“All these little-big men were evil but Mugabe is the headmaster, he is their vice chancellor, Mugabe is the Pope of all African dictators who just but created a crisis that needs dynamic leadership to deal with,” Biti said.  

He added that there was no alternative to coalescing and confronting “Mugabe’s dictatorship” as a united force.

Biti spoke as Mugabe’s rivals are moving to deny the veteran ruler another term in office.

Mugabe, one of the last of the generation of African nationalists that sought the overthrow of white colonialists, has run Zimbabwe since 1980.

He was first prime minister then, and became president in 1987.

The opposition has said it fears that Mugabe’s officials will rig the 2018 poll to extend his 37-year rule, as they have been accused of doing in past elections.

In December, Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party confirmed him as its candidate for the next presidential election expected in mid-2018, when he will be 94.

His long-rival Morgan Tsvangirai, 65, who was Zimbabwe’s prime minister in an uneasy coalition government with Mugabe from 2009 until 2013, has said he and Joice Mujuru, who was Mugabe’s deputy for a decade until she was fired in 2014, together with other opposition leaders, would seek to form a coalition government to bring political change.

“A coalition will give Zimbabweans a fighting chance, we must learn from what the Kenyans did, we must also learn from what the Gambians did,” Biti said.

He said the next election battle must be focused on issues affecting the long-suffering masses, because Mugabe is no longer a factor.

“The election agenda must be to create a transformational democratic developmental State which can lift the masses from poverty, this economy can grow at seven percent per annum, which means a $100 billion economy in about 10 years is possible,” Biti said.

Apart from dealing with the economic woes, he said a new democratic leadership needed to combat corruption, which has placed a premium on the economy, ensure growth is even and inclusive by implementing devolution of power as enshrined in the Constitution, rebuild the social contract, complete the unfinished business of the Constitution by repealing the imperial powers of the president.

Biti said the new leadership must also ensure there is rule of law, put an end to the land question by conducting an ownership audit and giving title to farm occupants to ensure they can borrow and be productive, ensure national healing by putting in place the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and end Zimbabwe’s isolation by proper engagement.

Comments (2)

Biti, dont blame Mugabe! Malema is partly right about cowards in ZANU PF.But the cowards are not only in ZANUPF. tThe whole of Zimbabwe is full of cowards who let Mugabe do what he wants.Mugabe will only go as far as Zimbabweans let him. ZANU PF does not rig elections. Zimbabweans vote for it. People will always get the leadership they deserve.

Frank Mukanya - 27 May 2017

Mugabe is king of DEVILS. Go & attack his Motor arcade. That's it, We're done. Prosperity, Happiness, Love every where. No one will sleep hungry, Parties during night & sleep during days. That's the kind of prosperity every single person can be a millionaire. People can send their Kids to school & buy expensive clothes for families. Try My way, Show the world what are made of.

HANUMAN - 3 June 2017

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