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Comment: Stop inflammatory statements

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MDC-T secretary-general and Finance minister Tendai Biti is an excitable character.

His statements at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare that Zanu PF was responsible for the death of Retired General Solomon Mujuru were ill-timed, reckless and immature.

Addressing a 20 000-strong crowd, Biti said: “We hold Zanu PF responsible for the killing of General Solomon Mujuru. Zanu PF invests in violence and they now engage in (burning) people. That’s the Zanu PF we know. Violence is in their DNA. That’s what they know best and their fingerprints show violence.”

It’s one thing to politick, but it’s another to be reckless and immature if you are a national figure, in this case a secretary-general of a majority party in the country.

While past events indeed show that the former ruling party is violent, but dragging Mujuru’s death at this point was unfortunate.

Biti must learn to respect the dead.

This is a miscalculation of the highest order! What is Biti trying to achieve?

The forensic investigations have not yet established anything about whether there is foul play suspected or not, but, we now have Biti saying Zanu PF is burning people.

Mujuru deserves our utmost respect and there was no need for Biti to grandstand at this point in time.

It was subjective for Biti to be conclusive about this matter because investigations are still underway and people can only speculate on how the Retired General died.

On the other hand, the manner in which the police, Zanu PF and government have handled the issue surrounding Mujuru’s demise may have heightened speculation on what actually happened.

As a politician, why didn’t Biti leave that to ordinary Zimbabweans, who also feel very aggrieved by the mysterious death of Mujuru?

It would appear Biti is still engrossed in student politics and does not understand his stature on a national scale.

Apart from holding such an influential post in the MDC-T, Biti is a Finance minister and as such must exercise restraint when addressing people.

Biti should show that he is a politician cut from a new generation and desist from playing to the gallery in the same manner that is usually displayed by the older generation.

It’s high time our politicians adopted diplomatic language and avoided inflammatory statements that can cause unrest. A man of Biti’s stature and intellect must not get carried away in that manner.

Mujuru’s death was not just painful for Zanu PF, but the whole country taking into cognisance his immense and unquestionable contribution to the liberation of the country.

Instead of finger-pointing, politicians must address bread and butter issues, one of which is violence.

Focus must be hinged on the recovery of our economy, the creation of jobs and service delivery.

MDC-T leaders must not fall into Zanu PF trap where people dwell on personalities rather than national issues.

They must turn a new leaf and abandon the mudslinging kind of politics. Politicians are there to serve the people.

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