‘Zanu PF must be pushed to reform’

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People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Tendai Biti

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party will not “reform itself out of power” and will need to be nudged in that direction by all Zimbabweans, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti has said.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Biti told his party’s general council meeting in Harare yesterday that the PDP leadership was in “talks” with other opposition parties and could announce a coalition early 2016.

“Zanu PF will not reform itself out of power. Zimbabweans should never be satisfied with mortgaging their struggle to political parties. It is up to the youths, churches, women, civic society and all of us to force Zanu PF to make the necessary conditions to allow Zimbabweans a free and fair election,” Biti said.

Mugabe’s administration has been dragging its feet regarding the re-alignment of a plethora of legal statutes following the adoption of the new Constitution two years ago. Officials indicate that besides electoral laws. At least 400 instruments will need to be reconfigured in line with the new governance charter.

Biti’s indication of a possible coalition comes just a day after reports that major opposition leaders in Zimbabwe had snubbed a call by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to sign a collective petition demanding reforms.

The former Prime Minister also wants opposition parties to steer clear of any election if Mugabe does not institute in particular electoral reforms.

“We are talking to progressive parties. They are happy to talk to us and value us. However, we must apologise as a collective, the opposition parties, to Zimbabweans for failing to work together. Early next year, we should be able to make public announcement on this issue,” Biti said.

Secretary General of People's Democratic Party(PDP, Tendai Biti speaking at a congress held  in Harare yesterdays

“We have little time left because we are just over 36 months before the next election. But for us in the PDP, the precondition for a coalition is a strong party. We will not just go into a coalition to make up the numbers, but we will put ideas and structures on the table. A grand coalition is necessary, but not a sufficient precondition for change in Zimbabwe. Without electoral reforms we are going nowhere.”

Zimbabwe is bracing for a new round of polls in 2018, with Mugabe having already declared he will contest the elections for the umpteenth time as a presidential candidate for Zanu PF when he will be 94.

Biti said opposition parties should demand a biometric voters’ roll, arguing that it is not as expensive as Zanu PF would want people to believe.

“We will not buy the argument that it is expensive because we are already issuing out biometric identity cards. There is your fingerprint and face on the national identity card. That is biometric and the cost is the same,” the former Treasury chief said.

“We also demand the demilitarisation of elections. Zimbabwe can best be described as a securocratic State. But we are saying to the military, keep out of electoral systems and afford Zimbabweans a fair chance to choose the leaders they want and deserve.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Biti you just boycotted the meeting of the same held by Tsvangirayi. Which grand coalition can you think of which does not include the biggest and the most popular opposition party. The MDCT.
    Swallow your pride and join hands with Save to save Zimbabwe. Thus if you have the country at heart.

  2. My brother is losing relevance to the politics of this country. It seems he formed his party to badmouth Tsvangirai. When MDC-T recalled him who blocked him and his colleagues from defending their seats? Was it not they had realized they had and up to now have no support? We are yet to see him addressing rallies like what Grace Mugabe, Tsvangirai Ncube etc do. Mark my work by 2018 the so-called PDP will not be there. Either it is to split or just sublimes into air. It seems the guy has failed to come out with a relevant formula to gain support. His ego will not take him forward. He is educated but education and utterances of colloquial British language does not win elections in Zimbabwe Hasazi madoda.

  3. You know it was easier to have one grand opposition party then later on change, an entrenched gvt needed sacrifices and selfishness was supposed to be put aside. Chiluba was not the best for Zambia but he taught Zambians that they can change a gvt and that is what I think we needed to do. It was going to be easy to remove MT than to remove Bob.

  4. I feel that most if not all opposition parties are formed for the wrong reasons and that is why they can’t be in power. When MDC was formed, it was formed proper and it was after the splitting began that the focus was lost. All other splinter groups are formed solely for the purpose of removing ZANU PF which might be not so a perfect objective. Let removing ZANU PF from power be impact of the output & outcomes of your action on the ground. Many of these opposition party members want to be known in the communities when they are in power yet it has to be the opposite. Work with the people first, be known of your good works and leadership in those small community activities and rise from there. I am not for ZANU PF but I am one of those people who find no reason to vote especially when there is no alternative to ZPF. If we are to sit down and begin counting the reasons why any opposition of your choice should be voted into power besides the fact of “just gambling on change of leadership”, there is no other real reasons why we have to vote for them. My appeal to the opposition is, please SHOW your value, build grassroots structures and work with the people from NOW not only to bring some T-shirts in 2018 trying to buy our votes. We are able to clearly see that’s vote buying and we ignore you guys. Zim has very good opportunities to capitalize on if one would want to be in power, all these problems people are facing, choose only two and offer grassroots solutions and see what happens. Politics is like a business, you have to cultivate and work on it all the time. Don’t wait until the year of voting. ZANU PF is always on it, after elections they go out thanking the electorate, although they use Govt resource for their benefit but the mass won’t know, they listen to what they are told, and they will vote for them again and again. Electoral reforms and all other issues people are making noise about, yes I agree but if you waste you energy on issues that you have the least chance to win, then what are you doing. Give those issues smaller proportion of your efforts. If you work with the people it becomes a revolution. If there is election fraud, its the people who will complain first and you put on your weight on their voice. More also, encourage people to go and vote, ZANU PF goes to the extend of threatening those who don’t go and vote. If there are many people who vote, you increase the chances of winning. I rest my case

  5. this mbiti guy is just another misguided missile like madhuku and Welshman! they spend much of they time badmouthing tsvangiari as if he is the one in power instead of Mugabe!!! in fact education in Zimbabwe is just a waste of time as shown by the behaviour of these so-called educated guys!!!

  6. How selfish are some of these opposition leaders in Zimbabwe? Even those who can hardly win a meagre 1% of the total votes cannot devote their support to the one who bears an upperhand in the opposition and yet they claim to have the public interest at heart. Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans are greater than an individual. What a shame!

  7. I do not understand what Tendai Biti really represents. Only yesterday, a forum for the same issues was in place and you boycotted. What exactly do you want to achieve Tendai Biti?. The little respect that I still had is gone mhani. This is becoming boring. Grow up and swallow your egos. There is no party or person who can wish Tsvangirai away. The man is just popular, hate him or love him.

    Of course he has his own weaknesses but for the greater good, you need to join hands and work together. Who is perfect in this world?

  8. @ d taura hako , Moyo ndiye aimhanya kwese kuma rally na Gire achivhaira nema numbers patwitter iye zvino achito mbombo , except zvika mbodzoka , but kwa amai anenge akaudzwa kunzi sedera kure. Ari so obsessed nepresidential succession to the point of which it shows kuti ndiye anoda chigaro

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