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Dabengwa, Biti lay into Mugabe

by Staff reporter
22 Aug 2016 at 07:13hrs | Views

WITH pressure mounting on President Robert Mugabe to relinquish power, opposition Zapu and People's Democratic Party leaders Dumiso Dabengwa and Tendai Biti have described the Zanu PF leader as a "monster" who urgently requires exorcism.

Dabengwa told a public discussion organised by the Southern African Political and Economic Series (Sapes) Trust on Thursday that the recent move by former freedom fighters to ditch Mugabe was a welcome development.

"We are happy now that the war veterans from the Zanla side have realised the blunders they made all along from the time of the liberation struggle to date," he said.

"They have realised that all along, they have been backing a monster that uses them and when it realises that they are no longer good for use, it will dump them, or worse still, chew them to pieces."

Dabengwa said he also welcomed former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and other former Zanu PF stalwarts, who are now part of the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF).

"We also have colleagues now in the opposition People First, some of whom were forerunners in protecting the monster, but today, have realised they were backing the wrong person. There is also the church that seemed to think that all leadership is anointed of God, with some going to the extent of hero-worshiping the monster.

"We have to protect the interests of the people and the freedom that they fought for. Nobody expected things to turn out this way and the question among those who fought in the war is: Was it worthwhile?" Dabengwa said.

"We appreciate those who have taken the initiative to speak and do this without fear. Those who have taken it upon themselves to create platforms such as the Platform for Concerned Citizens (PCC) and the idea of the NTA (National Transitional Authority). The alternative is to fold our hands and wait for the revolution to unfold naturally, but nobody can guarantee the outcome in such a scenario," he said.

Speaking at the same event, Biti said: "The person who will take over from Mugabe in Zanu PF will be the one who is willing to kill more than the other. But, at some point, they will need a time-out. The idea of an NTA will appeal to them because it will act as a breathing valve following the anticipated bloodshed.

"After Mugabe, the idea of (VP) Emmerson Mnangagwa and (Local Government minister) Saviour Kasukuwere sitting at the same table will create a spontaneous combustion. After a founding president, the State tends to go with him and examples galore, like Siad Barre in Somalia, Mobutu Sese Sseko in the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo], they are actually missing him now and Russia after Joseph Stalin. Mugabe will likely go with Zimbabwe, hence, the need for an NTA but only after him."

Biti said the NTA would provide a "soft landing" for Zimbabwe.

The PDP leader added the Government of National Unity (GNU) failed to create a self-reinforcing transformation, resulting in the conflation of multiple crises.

"But then we have the generation, a generation that believes in democracy, in an open society and all the freedoms that come with it," he said.

"This generation, unfortunately, is being suffocated by a government that is making every effort to stifle and constrain expenditure through legislation such as (Statutory Instrument) SI164. The State, that is Zimbabwe and its predecessors, has never been this weak since 1890 and government has been reduced to an innocent bystander, by an economic crises that is moving into a depression"

Biti said Zanu PF has been surprised by the explosion of the social movements such as #ThisFlag and Tajamuka/Sesijikile.

"They have exposed the limitations of the old generation and also forced opposition parties to find each other," he said.

One of the conveners of the PCC, Tony Reeler, said his group would continue to consult, including seeking buy-in from
Zanu PF.

"If the broader society buys-in, then we see no reason why Zanu PF should be left out. We are deeply concerned that the fall-out over the succession fight in Zanu PF will be bloody. We hope the military sees its survival in a peaceful transition of power as a professional institution and will also support the idea of an NTA," he said.

Source - newsday