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Biti must wake up and smell the coffee

By Kennedy Kaitano

OPINION – I have just read your article in which the MDC Renewal Team leader, Tendai Biti, hints that his party will be approaching the Constitutional Court over the nullification of their seats by the Speaker of Parliament.

Former MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti
Former MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti

Tendai has his constitutional rights to do so, and I wish him good luck. It is interesting though that the Labour Court not too long ago ruled in favour of Toendepi Shonhe when he wanted payment after being fired by the MDC-T, while at the same time the MDC Renewal Team had been claiming that they are the legitimate party and had ‘suspended” and eventually “expelled Morgan Tsvangirai and others from the party.

I would want to ask my brother Tendai if, educated as he is, and being the democrat that he claims to be, and being a person who claims to be anti-corruption, why he did not go to the courts and say Toendepi Shonhe you are wrong because we are the legitimate party, so the MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai are not liable to pay Toendepi Shonhe and others who were dismissed with him?

Tendai Biti is reported as saying that the speaker’s decision was a political strategy meant to weaken the opposition, but the truth is that when Mudenda denied the request to have them expelled in the first place, it was Zanu PF’s strategy to weaken the Tsvangirai-led MDC-T because they know that the Tsvangirai-led MDC-T is the real threat to them, but expelling them was the rightful decision Mudenda must have made then because Biti’s Mandel gathering was not a properly constituted meeting that could suspend Morgan Tsvangirai and other top leaders who the bogus meeting claimed they had suspended.

Tendai Biti knows this very well as an educated lawyer, but is just trying to cause confusion. Biti seems to angle his statement in such a way that people end up blaming MDC-T for donating the seats to Zanu PF, and not on any legal merit. Several questions arise from that kind of thinking as I will explain below.

Firstly, from my reading, Zanu PF already has the two thirds majority that is required for them to amend the constitution if they wish. Of what effect, then, are the 21 parliamentarians who are to be recalled in disturbing Zanu PF plans that they may want to push through parliament?

Parliament, therefore, is no longer the arena through which to push change, and the recall should be used as an opportunity to think out new strategies, which Biti and others have always accused Morgan Tsvangirai of lacking.

Secondly, one of the accusations the MDC Renewal outfit have laid against Tsvangirai is that he agreed to have the party go through an election when the playing field was not even.

If they find that a good argument, why would they want to hold on to seats that they shouldn’t have had if Morgan Tsvangirai had pulled the party out of the election? The truth is that they will have blamed Morgan Tsvangirai for pulling the party out of the race.

Thirdly, while all the MDC formations have said they will not contest elections until reforms have been made, they did not give a time frame over which the reforms should be made, and surely, Zanu PF will not give those reforms without the opposition fighting, and being thrown out of parliament giving Biti and company enough time to go into the streets to fight for those reforms, which can be achieved before the by-elections.

I, therefore, advise my brother Tendai not to cry over spilt milk, but focus on the bigger picture – fight Zanu PF hard to ensure that the reforms are achieved before the by-elections.

Biti said the 21 MPs worked very hard to win those seats, as if the party that sponsored them did not make any contributions to that victory. Admittedly, those MPs worked very hard, but my brother Biti would be fooling himself if he thinks that Morgan Tsvangirai’s influence did not contribute to that victory.

If the MPs worked hard on their own to win those seats, then why was Morgan Tsvangirai being blamed for the party’s loss in the elections. Going by my brother Tendai’s argument that the MPs worked hard to win those seats, it would mean that the party’s candidates who lost in the 2013 did not work very hard, so why blame Morgan Tsvangirai?

My brother Tendai, you are just angry out of greediness, and bitter at the loss of income which could be one of the reasons why you were trying to hang on in parliament.

Wake up and smell the coffee, my dear brother Tendai. Be careful about your decision to go to the Constitutional Court, as it may backfire. Don’t say I was never warned.

Kennedy Kaitano, Mutare