By Patrick Guramatunhu- A few days ago the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, announced that Tendai Biti and four other legislators elected under the MDC Alliance (MDC A) but from the People Democratic Party (PDP) had been recalled by the PDP.
The recall itself came as no surprise to anyone who has followed the mud-crab dance of Zimbabwe opposition politics.
MDC A is a coalition of six or so political parties including PDP, MDC-Ncube and MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai whose primary purpose was for the partners to maximise on the opposition vote by fielding one candidate in all the 2018 electoral races. For convenience, the candidates called themselves MDC A although they each belonged to their individual party, MDC A was not a political party.
To muddy the waters, MDC-T led by Nelson Chamisa following Tsvangirai death in February 2018 started calling itself MDC A whilst a break-away faction led by Thokozani Khupe retained the MDC-T name.
Chamisa called an MDC A congress in Gweru in May 2019 to which all MDC A members from other partners attended and were elected to key positions in the MDC A – the coalition had morphed into a political party.
One would have thought that Tendai Biti and his PDP crowd and Welshman Ncube and David Coltart and their MDC-Ncube, the three are all lawyers, would have had the common sense to convene their own party congress to formally dissolve the party or transplant it lock, stock and barrel to be MDC A. They did no such thing.
Tendai Biti was elected MDC A VP with Welshman Ncube as the other VP. David Coltart was elected MDC A Treasurer General. Other PDP and MDC-Ncube members were elected into key position in the MDC A party.
So Tendai Biti and all the other former PDP members who joined the MDC A after the May 2019 congress crossed the floor and could no longer call themselves PDP members and therefore were subject to recall by PDP. David Coltart and all the other MDC-Ncube legislators, can too be recalled by the old MDC-Ncube, if it still exists.
Tendai Biti’s reaction to the recall is to blame Zanu PF! Biti was the chair person of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and he is adamant the recall was a calculated move by Zanu PF to stop the corruption undercover by the committee coming out.
“We had those (PAC) reports ready and my recall is to make sure these issues to do with corruption are not brought before Parliament. We will convene as a party and make sure we come up with a collective decision. Remember, we contested elections not under the PDP, but under the MDC Alliance,” Biti said.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), they prevented me from moving a motion on Chilonga displacements in Parliament. Tomorrow (today), I was supposed to present a report on Zinara (Zimbabwe National Road Administration), and on Monday, we were supposed to cross-examine ZESA on (Kudakwashe) Tagwirei’s Dema deal and Wicknell Chivhayo’s Gwanda solar project. In a few weeks’ time, we were going to table the issue of land barons in Harare. So the cartels and Mnangagwa are responsible for this recall.”
An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb; so goes the old adage.
Yes the PAC reports Biti’s committee was going to release were going to embarrass Mnangagwa and company, old woman and dry bones, but we should not go over board on this. Zanu PF has a thick skin!
Over the years there have been numerous stories and reports from the Willowgate scandal, to Mugabe’s admission the country was being swindled out of US$ 15 billion dollars in diamond revenue, etc. Zanu PF has used its political dominance to take the sting out of all these adverse reports. No doubt it would have done the same in this case.
The bottom line is Zanu PF did not engineer the recall of these MDC A legislators. The sheer incompetence with which Tendai Biti and his fellow MDC A leaders have handled the transition from MDC A coalition to MDC A political party has created a lot of chaos and confusion. It is former colleagues in the old parties who are recalling the MDC A legislators. Zanu PF has taken advantage of the situation.
Tendai Biti is nothing but a noisy Chihuahua barking at a marauding elephant, to hear the bark one would think the Chihuahua going to eat the the elephant alive! Zanu PF is not going change because of what Biti says no more than the marauding elephant is going away because it fears being eaten alive with the Chihuahua.
If Zimbabweans are serious about ending corruption, we must demand democratic reforms leading to the holding of free, fair and credible elections. Free, fair and credible elections is more than just a basic human right; it is the alpha, omega and everything in between of good governance.
Tendai Biti and his MDC friends sold out on the golden opportunity to implement the reforms during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. And since the GNU debacle they have participated in flawed elections giving legitimacy to Zanu PF for the sake of a few gravy train seats Zanu PF offered as bait. MDC leaders are hoping the nation will never notice the barking Chihuahua will never end the Zanu PF dictatorship, corruption and povo’s long suffering!
“Mnangagwa is responsible for my recall to stop PAC corruption reports coming out!” Yeah right! How about admitting, you shoot yourself in the foot!