Biti ponders life after politics

Tendai Biti . . . Look, the people of Zimbabwe are bigger than the 21 Members of Parliament that were expelled

Tendai Biti . . . Look, the people of Zimbabwe are bigger than the 21 Members of Parliament that were expelled

Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor
Opposition MDC Renewal leader Tendai Biti appears to be considering life after politics following the expulsion of 21 Members of his faction, including himself, from Parliament this week. The 21 MPs were expelled at the instigation of the MDC-T led by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai for crossing the floor from the party on whose ticket they entered Parliament.

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Mr Biti’s faction has indicated that it will challenge the decision in the courts.

A member of his inner circle confided in The Herald, though, that Biti will not be heavily involved in the court challenge.

However, in an interview with The Herald at his Milton Park offices in Harare this week, Mr Biti appeared disillusioned with opposition politics and in particular, failure to coalesce to defeat Zanu-PF.

Clad in a dark grey suit that seemed to reflect his mood, palpable disillusionment ran through the responses of the usually loquacious Biti.

“I have played my part as a Zimbabwean,” he said when challenged over his future.

“I have been in the trenches since my time at the University of Zimbabwe and played my part. I think that it is time that others played their part too, I have played mine.”

Asked whether that meant retiring from politics, the lawyer said, “I have not said that. I have just said I have played my part.”

“The issue of the expulsion of the 21 members of Parliament is a tragedy for democratisation politics in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“It is also a tragedy for national politics.

“It is unprecedented in any part of the world that democratically elected members of Parliament can be eliminated as we saw on Tuesday.

“But the country will continue moving on and the challenge is how do we rescue and save our country?

“Just because 21 MPs were fired I don’t think we suddenly got US$40 billion in direct investment in the country. It won’t happen.

“So nobody except the forces of evil benefited from this.

“What it means is that unless we are able to focus on things that put bread on the table we are wasting time.”

Mr Biti described Mr Tsvangirai as having gone “way past his sell-by date” and surrounded by sycophants.

The fiery opposition politician believes time has come for the transfiguration of national politics.

“We need to go beyond politics and craft a vision of Zimbabwean-hood because unless we do that, we are accelerating on auto-pilot to a position of oblivion, a position of nonentity,” said he.

“Zimbabwe’s politics is dominated by intolerance and by hatred.

“I shudder to open any newspaper because what you read there is hatred and vitriol and diatribe.

“But newspapers don’t create this, they are just a mirror image of the society that they are from — a reflection of what we have become, a miserable group of going-nowhere people stuck in hatred and bitterness.

“We need to convert these predatory and vicious cycles of exclusion into virtuous circles of inclusivity and that is the challenge and obligation on this generation.”

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