|Biti under fire for tribal slur|
|Monday, 20 August 2012 00:00|
community with a call that the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee should intervene and reprimand him. Mr Biti, who is also Finance Minister in the inclusive Government, made the tribal diatribe during a press conference two weeks ago when he announced his party’s endorsement of the draft
Constitution produced by the Copac management committee.
“We are de-Zezurunising the State, let me put it clear, there is too much Zvimbanisation of this State, the first is that under this constitution all citizens are equal whether citizens by birth, by descent or by registration,” said Mr Biti.
Mr Biti, however, tried to retract his statement later realising the backlash that would come saying “I just used it as colour, don’t confuse it with substance.”
Such utterances, he said, had the effect of inciting tribal clashes.
He said world history was littered with cases where thousands of lives had been lost due to clashes triggered by “such reckless tribal statements”.
Mr Nyachowe said it would be ridiculous for Mr Biti to go and campaign in Mashonaland provinces where mostly Zezuru people reside when he had shown resentment against them.
“We want to know whether he said this in his capacity as Government Minister or as a party functionary. If he was representing the Government, he should be disciplined, if he was putting on a party hat, then we do not expect him to go and campaign in those areas,” said Mr Nyachowe.
“That is counterproductive. We are quite worried about the threats that he is making,” he said.
“Are these constitutional material? To say this constitution is now good because we have addressed the issue of Zezurus, does it make any sense?”
University of Zimbabwe International Relations Department lecturer, Dr Charity Manyeruke, condemned the utterances saying it was surprising coming from a Government minister.
“A constitution should be a unifying point and our leaders should be unifying agents. We have many tribes in Zimbabwe and the constitution is a symbol that we are one nation,” said Dr Manyeruke.
“It’s quite disgusting coming from not only a lawyer but a leader of a political party. He is trying to divide people along ethnic lines,” she said.
Cde Mutsvangwa said what Mr Biti said was a reflection of lawyers trained at a time when whites were at the helm of the University of Zimbabwe’s Law Faculty.
“We went to war to fight whites who condoned systems such as tribalism and racialism. I am a leader for women and I do not look at one’s tribe whether Manyika, Karanga or Zezuru, this is what every leader should do,” said Cde Muchinguri.