Biti, Chamisa open up on US trip

THE MDC Alliance has claimed that it holds the keys to the country’s economic revival. Currently, three MDC Alliance top officials – Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T), Tendai Biti (People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Jacob Ngarivhume (Transform Zimbabwe) — are in the United States of America to engage with different government officials in the US Congress, business people and Zimbabweans in the diaspora.

By JONGA KANDEMIRI

The trio have said their trip has been a success and that the US goverment has pledged to support the country, as long as Zimbabwe walks the talk in promoting democracy. The following are excerpts of an interview between Voice of America’s Studio 7 reporter, Jonga Kandemiri (JK), Biti (TB) and Chamisa (NC) on different issues pertaining to their trip.

JK: What brings you to the US?

TB: We are here to discuss the problems in Zimbabwe, as well as to engage with diasporans in the US, so that we come up with solutions of how we can ensure free and fair elections in 2018.

JK: Following the discussions at Congress and issues that came out during the meeting, can (you) Chamisa tell Zimbabweans of what exactly transpired during the meetings?

NC: What brought us here are issues of trying to advocate for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, and peace and to try and bring solutions to the economic hardships facing the country, so that there is an end to the long queues at banks. We are here to ensure that we work together with the international community to guarantee that the economic, political and social problems in the country come to an end.

We met different groups from the business community, and other rich individuals, and asked them to assist us to solve the problems in our country. We have been welcomed by all these people, including top government officials in the US. There is a lot of work to be done in Zimbabwe before the 2018 elections.

JK: Biti, a lot of people have accused the opposition for advocating for sanctions. You have now come before Congress, and so what have you discussed regarding sanctions.

TB: The goodwill that we have been shown on this trip as the MDC Alliance, as well as the doors that have been opened to us has been very overwhelming. We have always told people at our rallies that we have the keys to opening up Zimbabwe’s economy – and these are not mere words, it’s true. We have managed to even get into very high offices in the US, which people think are no-go areas, but they showed us goodwill and trust, as the opposition and promised to work with us.

The message that we have been telling to all those we met is that they need to help us re-build Zimbabwe. But we have said Zimbabwe must first walk the talk and meet certain benchmarks of good behaviour first. There has to be incentives for good behaviour and so the ball is now in our court. We cannot keep crying out about sanctions; let us walk the talk in building democracy.

JK: Chamisa, Zimbabwe now has several coalitions (more than three) of opposition political parties, what is your comment about that?

NC: We now need to encourage everyone to work together as one, so that we get assistance from developed countries. We need to be organised, so that when assistance is poured into the country we give a good impression that we are not divided and can effectively work together to rebuild the country’s economy and industries. It can only happen if we work together. Being an opposition does not mean that we need to fight Zanu PF.

It means that we have to bring in new ideas to re-build the country as an opposition movement. It means that we should be able to work together with the political party that wins the elections for the good of the country. Our aim is that when we go back to Zimbabwe, we go back with good news of good things to come if we work together.

JK: Biti, the Zimbabwe National Army is still out in the streets and some people are accusing them of contravening human rights. As the MDC Alliance, what is your view on that?

TB: I have said let us now have a roadmap to legitimacy. We should go back to our Constitution, which stipulates that the country should not be under military rule. Of course, what happened on November 14 and 15 (when there was a soft coup) was important to ensure that politics goes ahead of the gun. However, we hope that soldiers will understand that what happened in November has happened, but now the country needs to move forward because we need to sort out economic issues, high unemployment levels and rural underdevelopment.

If you go to the rural areas right now, you find that 37 years after independence 55% of people are still using the bush system as toilets, while 60% of Zimbabweans are drinking unsafe water, getting their water from streams, where they also share the water with livestock.

That is not good. We have a big obligation to sort out that mess and that is why it is important to have an atmosphere that is conducive for free and fair elections, so that we can transform the country.

We have wasted a lot of time and now Zimbabweans want sanity. I want to emphasise that we have seen a lot of goodwill to work with us from very high offices in America and so we have no doubt that we will go back with a good report to our leader, Morgan Tsvangirai that the ball is now in our court to go back to Zimbabwe and win the 2018 elections because there is a lot of support. We will put God forward to achieve that.

JK: Chamisa, you have been encouraging people to go and register to vote. What message do you have for Zimbabweans in the US on the biometric voter registration (BVR) process and the resignation of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson, Rita Makarau?

NC: There are many questions that are being asked like what we need to do to ensure that elections are not rigged and are free and fair. What we are encouraging is that in this BVR exercise, those people that have not yet gone to register to vote must do so because we do not want voter apathy. We want everyone to exercise their rights to vote. — VOA Studio 7

34 Comments

  1. Musarasike varume.

    1. zvikanzi naBiti “no dogs and Africans in our luxurious hotels”

  2. Is it Biti and Chamisa who say Zimbabwe should walk the talk on human rights and free elections; or, it is the U S officials they met? From the excerpts, it is not clear who is saying what. The two guys may be giving us their wishes as the expressed interest of the officials they encountered.
    Where is Ngarivhume in all this?
    Are the alliance officials also aware that forming a political party does not automatically mean that you have supporters among voters that you can take to a coalition grouping?
    If they were not asking for imposition or retention of sanctions, why did they go to U S without first working with the new administration here to sort out any relevant and pertinent issues on the governance and electoral system?

  3. This is totally wrong to have three lose cannons claiming that there hold keys to the suffering of Zimbabweans when there are residents of this country, this defies logic and we need to seriously ponder over this and whether we need people and a party like this in this country.

    1. It appears to be the stubborn truth you should embrace. MDC holds economic power and ZANU PF holds political power.

      1. noone holds the keys to zim`s economic recovering. MDC is simply riding on the people`s suffering and they dont want zim to recover unless they are the ones who are in power.MDC got support from pple who were fed up by zanu policies, we even voted some MPs in 2000 wataisatomboziva. wat destroyed our economy is not the name zanu pf but the policies they indroduced. what will also solve the current economic situation is not the name mdc but the policies that will be indroduced by whoever is in power. let us not be used by people who make money thru our suffering. MDC has never been in power so when they say they hold the keys what the barometer are they using.
        should the people of zimbabwe suffer because MDC is failling to get into power. sunctions will definately bite the ordinary person in the street. IS IT A CONCIDENCE THAT SOON AFTER MDC ALLIANCE LANDED IN US PRICES STARTED INCEASES….?

        1. ZANU policies are not really the problem, the ZANU criminals are the problem. As long as those criminals are still there, forget and smile. zvifadzei nenhema henyu.

      2. If its true then it means we are suffering because of MDC. What they are implying is that so long they dont get into power then they will never unlock the economic recovery. So someone tell me, why shld i give my vote to such hypocrites.

        1. ….because then they will unlock the economy. Duh.

  4. Its sad when a political party is losing relevance that they have to pull a stunt which affects the ordinary Zimbabwean. Shame on you

  5. I don’t blame them for going to America to beg for more sanctions and election money. Frankly, if I were in their position I would do exactly the same. I mean, the tougher things are in Zim, the more likely these guys will get into power.

    1. Biti and Chamisa do not know that these so called sanctions are affecting the ordinary and poor Zimbabweans. Companies are being closed not because they are on the targeted list but because ZIDERA prohibits US affiliated companies not to transact with any company in Zimbabwe. The company I worked for closed because of this and I am now jobless. I will not vote for MDC come 2018 because they do not know what they talk about – only being fed by the Americans hence they don’t feel the same way as the ordinary citizen. Even if they win the elections (OF WHICH I DOUBT THEY WILL.)they will still go back to Americans for the way forward. These guys are clueless. Zanupf is busy organizing itself for the 2018 elections whilst mdc is busy asking for more suffering of the electorate. Shame on you Biti and Chamisa.

  6. Biti so its either you guys are in power or we will continue suffering?? What do you mean if you say that you hold the keys of our economy?? Simply put what you are saying is we will continue advocating for sanctions until people vote for us.Is that democracy holding the lives of fellow Zimbabweans at ransom for your own political gain.Gentleman you are a disgrace to all Africans. Simply put sellouts.Do you know how many innocent children are suffering as a result of your foolish machinations.

  7. Zvimbwasungata zvevanhu

  8. We need serious Opposition this lot are a shame. Every election year they run to the West and collect money buy cars, take girlfriends on trips to Malaysia and lose the elections.
    Use the few seats you have in parliament to make your point if you are Democrats.
    Biti and team give politics a bad name !
    Someone needs to remind them are we became a sovereign state in 1980 and that it is not for sell.

    I am not surprised that those who fought to liberate Zimbabwe came out staying they would not suffer the indignity to salute sell-outs.
    The President is on record as saying the people will is sovereign.
    Its about time Zimbabwe considered banning foreign funding of political parties as is the case in other countries.

    Patriots do not go championing the continuation of sanctions which take the opportunity for jobs and business for our people.

    MDC and Allies will not see power in Zimbabwe in a thousand years!
    They do not have the brains for strategies to compete for power electral

    1. Never in a thousand years will the MDC and it allies taste power as long as they ask the Americans think for them.

      1. Bob said penzura haife yakaendesa nyika much ingawani penzura ndiyo yaakashandisa to resign.kkkkkkkk

  9. Nonsense these guys do not stand by the truth. we listened to what Biti and Dewa said. they are not worried about the sufferings of the people. you can not lead people before if you don’t love them. J C Maxwell says that you can love people without leading them but you can lead people without loving them. Why do you want us to suffer and be isolated from the world so that you gain political mileage to become our leader.

  10. like it or not they hold the keys

    1. so may they unlock the eeonomy then, with or withour power

    2. never in a thousand years will they rule Zimbabwe even if they hold the so called keys which I also doubt they know what they mean when they say that.

    3. The Dawn of A New Era

      The only keys they have is that of destruction. These guys are saboteurs they should be charged with treason.. For your own info if a US citizen calls for sanctions or any action against the US, they would be charged with treason. Why do these guys pretend to be “learned” when they are so uncivilised? Vakatorasika vachiine hutsi hwe GNU. The voter has since moved on from 2008 and its all about livelihoods and productivity. That is why you saw the whole nation, I mean literally the whole nation came out with one voice on 18 November 2017, hand in hand in a manner never seen since 1980. Biti, Chamisa and Tsvangirai are no longer relevant in driving this nation to the next level. They served their and helped ZANU PF renew itself. Vana vembwa vaya ZANU PF vasvinura zvino, vave kuwona……handiti this is why MDC was formed to transform the nation. Unfortunately they have been beaten to their own game… Seiko isiri kuchinja maitiro iyo MDC yacho???

      Chinja maitiro, Maitiro Chinjaaaa!!!!!!!!

    4. They do not hold the keys. Thier paymesters hold the keys. Shld their paymasters choose to use someone else instead of them, the paymasters will still achieve his targets

  11. Dawn of A New Era

    Oracle, You are on point. They asked for sanctions these guys let the truth be told. They got scared after the US promised to work with the new leadership for the betterment of our country. The Opposition is finished and let them continue with that label of opposition. As I see it, they cannot be trusted to lead this nation. In fact they are not fit. Also by asking for sanctions, the electoral field is no longer level. It has tilted in favor of the MDC Alliance…We need a positive Opposition. They are failing to read the signs. Its a new wave sweeping through this nation. We noticed a new kind of mindset within the reformed ZANU PF at the congress where the usual rants of sloganeering was absent, except for Oppah Muchinguri’s moment of “madness”

  12. siyai vanoda kuvaka nyika vavake ndosaka vari pabasa kutaura ndokuneiko.Avoid hate speeches guys Mnangangwa is our President late him do the job than talking about MDC you are causing confusion.

  13. What sanctions i think we need educate our barezi in reserves who are talking about non existing sanctions that zimbabwe is not under sanctions only Rhodesia .Biti and Chamisa you have a huge support back home all what you said makes sense .What huge turnout of coalition members at Mcdonald Hall in Byo on Sat zanu must be afraid right now

  14. Mavhinga I hope you will not regret the day you proudly spoke about our beloved nation before all those American dignitaries. am listening to your address as I am typing this. you are very dull my boy, cant call you a man because men do not behave in the manner you have just exhibited. I doubt your fatherhood mr mavhinga. what kind of a father rushes nextdoor to address his family problems without consulting those next to him. am sorry to use this language, you are a real idiot iwe mavhinga. your skin shows that you are living pretty, what about the general populacy of Zimbabwe. You are a coward. addressing americans on human rights issues and yet they are the current human rights abusers world over. very selfish

  15. MDC is in sixes and sevens because ZANU PF is restructuring itself. What language is that, that “the MDC holds the key to our economic survival”. These rogue citizens rushed to the US because they now know that the new dispensation will bring bread and butter on our tables and the MDC will become irrelevant.They are colluding with their masters to influence prices of commodities in our country so that the majority of us will suffer. I have changed my mind about you MDC. You have lost my vote now. Don’t you know how these sanctions have brought misery in our lives. As for that white fellow, he knows very well that the sanctions he is advocating will only hurt us blacks the most. Tell me, has any of you seen whites queuing up outside banks or in shops when there is scarcity of goods???? MDC must engage the new administration first before globetrotting and advocating for our suffering. This administration is only in office for less than a month and MDC runs to US to make irrelevant presentations. Musafugure hapwa, mapenzi.

  16. Come next year zanu kapata sukuma hallee tweende we have no reason to vote for this party unless if we want to suffer more and naturally we do not want that

  17. i bet mdc is winning. we are tired of zanu pf guys zanu must go go go go go go guys lets register nd vote for change. mdc will change our lives im teling yu

  18. I’ve always voted for the opposition since 1990. You remember ZUM yaTekere? I have been supporting MDC in many ways including financial support. I have sat and wined and dined with them.

    Guys, these people are corrupt. I wouldn’t want to mention names here but I know many of these MDC officials converted the Community Development Fund money for their own personal gain. If I am to detail it here, many of them would be arrested.

    Now these are the same people going to the USA to call for the continuation of sanctions until “free and fair” elections are held. Come on guys, I thought you are smarter than that. Kwenyu kukara kutonga chete. You don’t love the people of Zimbabwe.

    Why didn’t you engage the new government before going to the USA? For the first time in many decades, you guys have convinced me not to vote for you. I am voting for the new Mnangagwa led government. Imi vana Biti naChamisa muri busy kuvukura muchitsvaka the stay of sanctions until mapinda panyanga, ED is busy putting this country back on track.

    The going of Mugabe has seriously weakened the already heavily divided opposition. Because of your stupidly miscalculated move of rushing to the USA before talking to the new government, we can never trust you guys with our votes. No more money from me into your MDC.

  19. It’s the lying that geys to me. So many words but no answers. You do not hold amy keys you pieces of …. we’ve lived through your sabotage and we will live long after it. We are hardworking zimbabweans we hold the keys.

    Ps. I hate all of you.

  20. We have managed to even get into very high offices in the US, which people think are no-go areas, but they showed us goodwill and trust, as the opposition and promised to work with us……

    kupinda kwenyu in high offices kunondiitirei ini a regular citizen?? ds it bring food to my table?? does it provide jobs fr the regular people??

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