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Biti flop – Zanu PF biggest loser (Part 2)

By Itai Dzamara

I am convinced by the overhasty plunge that the MDC rebels took in what eventually became a clumsy plot aimed at ousting MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, that they have been on a leash. They have been under pressure from hidden forces, and l am sure one of them has been, and still is, Zanu PF.

Rebel held territory: Tendai Biti in Milton Park, Harare
Tendai Biti in Milton Park, Harare

It does not need much effort to also identify both overt and covert support that the Zanu PF system has been offering the MDC rebels, ranging from publicity and all the way to pronounced sympathy and backing by even Robert Mugabe himself.

Close to hallucinatory claims by Tendai Biti appearing to back Zanu PF’s rigged election victory also obviously point at some unholy alliance. Zanu PF has suffered a loss in the face of the glaring huge flop of the Biti rebellion, but before l show how, let me outline why the ruling regime would back or even invest into the rebellion.

First and foremost, it is basic political stuff that ruling regimes have some thorns in their flesh, mostly in the form of opposition rivals. In the case of Zanu PF, the MDC has remained the cause of endless headaches, and, with its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai being the face of the political brand.

Unavoidably, Zanu PF has variously invested a lot of resources and time in trying to destroy the MDC brand over the years. My assessment of the Biti rebellion leaves me without doubt that, if Zanu PF did not create it, then it certainly hijacked it and subsequently set it on the slippery pedestal that has seen it sink into a huge debacle.

Yes, my point is that Zanu PF’s hand in the Biti rebellion has been aiming at destroying the MDC – or at least tear into pieces in a manner that effectively diminishes its strength and power. That desire and mission is very crucial to Zanu PF currently, largely because of the status of national politics as well as what l am sure increasingly becomes inevitable as each day ticks away without any hope for the Mugabe regime.

The regime is in a real quagmire of a crisis of political legitimacy, born out of the rigged July 31, 2013 elections. Attempts at pretending and showing bravado are increasingly withering under the unrelenting economic meltdown. Zanu PF is desperate for a way out of this hole, and, as l shall articulate in my next article, there could only be one way at the end of the day, and, standing at the entrance with the keys would be the MDC.

For now, suffice to say that Zanu PF shudders to anticipate yet again having to slug it out with Tsvangirai and his party in a bid to wriggle out of the political crisis. In spite of the criticisms over their failure to hold up and enforce the reformation agenda during the previous coalition, the MDC has indeed given Zanu PF a torrid challenge and stretched the Mugabe dictatorship to breaking points.

For these reasons, it becomes the paramount interest of Zanu PF, more than any other element, to push for either the ouster of Tsvangirai or causing a crippling split in the MDC. Now that the Biti rebellion is already irretrievably headed for disaster, here are the permutations for Zanu PF.

The strength of MDC and Tsvangirai brand remains intact, and may even increase due to the ripple effect wrought by the clumsiness and self defeating nature of the Biti rebellion. I find the huge majority of MDC supporters and even general electorate to have become convinced that the Biti rebellion has a Zanu PF hand behind it, aiming to destroy the MDC.

That inevitably deals a body blow to the Biti camp, and by extension, to Zanu PF’s scheming as well as manipulation. It therefore means, in the eyes of the MDC supporters, Tsvangirai remains the face of the struggle and when the discourse rewinds back to last year’s elections, Mugabe and his party are haunted by the rigging scandal, itself the basis of the deep crisis.

In more ways than few, the Tsvangirai and MDC shadow continues to hover around the tormented camp of Zanu PF. The common slogans among Zimbabweans, which take a tone of scorn and sarcasm towards Mugabe and Zanu PF are about how the ‘Bhora Mugedhi’ crusade, from last year’s election campaigns, has crashed into a national calamity.

Affixed to such slogans are pronouncements that put Tsvangirai under the spotlight as the answer to the national crisis. It is against such pervasive sentiments that the Biti rebellion has largely been regarded with disdain and ridicule, as well as reflected against Zanu PF’s tricks of deception.

The Biti rebellion is now being steered towards establishment of an alternative to Tsvangirai and the MDC, which is being touted as a united front. Again, Zanu PF has vested interest in the project, in the hope that it creates a tangible alternative that could be used to neutralise or counter the MDC strength in the looming national political processes.

However, a precursor to the united front is the debacle that the Biti rebellion is proving to be, such as the weekend rally in Mutare, attended by about 50 people.  I don’t see any of the fringe opposition players being lined up to be part of the alliance really breathing life into it.

In that case and whichever way one chooses to look at it, the Biti rebellion or the so-called united front looks likely to culminate in the failure to decimate the power, popularity and influence of Tsvangirai and the MDC. 

That leaves Zanu PF without a way out of the course which has their nemesis not only sharpening weapons, but still choking with madness over the myriad issues, of a botched reformation agenda, including arrogance and barbarism that culminated into the rigged election.

Because the Biti rebellion has failed to achieve what should have been Zanu PF’s ardent desire – destroying the MDC and Tsvangirai brand – the ruling party stares the looming commencement of processes which will force it to go back and restart from where they left prior to running away from the coalition government and into staging the election rigging scandal.

And, that really means taking on Tsvangirai and the massively popular MDC again, because the Biti project simply can’t change the dynamics and circumstances. I believe that is the direction things are set to take, which basically spell more trouble for Zanu PF.

Itai Dzamara is Editor-In-Chief of Trinity Media (Pvt) LTD , (Publishers of The News Leader and The News Leader on Sunday)