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Biti censured over outbursts


CHINHOYI — The MDC-T has reportedly censured party secretary-general Tendai Biti from making unsavoury public outbursts about President Robert Mugabe and issues involving the coalition government, a senior party official disclosed over the weekend.

Instead, according to the official, Biti was advised to adopt a “statesman-like” approach when dealing with the 88-year-old Zanu PF leader.

Addressing MDC-T district and provincial executive members attending a fund-raising luncheon in Chinhoyi, party deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma said the party had expressed reservations over Biti’s seemingly “undiplomatic etiquette”.

Mangoma said Biti, who is “fond of playing to the gallery” by making scathing attacks on Mugabe and his party stalwarts, had been cautioned over his

“People yearn to see our leadership qualities. We recently said to the secretary-general (Biti) ‘look we must desist from political grandstanding and acting like activists and show the people what distinguishes us from Zanu PF’,” said Mangoma, who is also Energy and Power Development minister and an MDC-T national executive council member.

“The contestations in the unity government are so fierce, so intense that we get to near fights. Some walk away, but that won’t derail us. At present, the people cannot be blamed for saying ‘(Prime Minister Morgan) Tsvangirai and his leaders are blowing hot and cold’ and leaves them confused because as a party we have taken a diplomatic stance to dealing with Mugabe and Zanu PF.

“We have ceased to be political activists, but we are now statesmen. We leave activism to you (district and provincial executive officials).The diplomacy by the MDC-T in challenging President Mugabe’s continued rule, characterised by protracted talks, should not be misconstrued as lethargy and loss of steam by party president Morgan Tsvangirai who is the sole custodian of the strategy to State House.”

Efforts to get comment from Biti were fruitless.

However, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said: “Honourable Biti has done absolutely nothing wrong and as the party we are happy with the way he has discharged his function as a minister in the government as well as a negotiator of GPA and generally as the secretary-general of the party.”

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