HARARE – Anxiety has gripped the MDC Renewal Team as their frontman Tendai Biti is said to have left the country for the United States of America at a time there is growing uncertainty over the future of the opposition party.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The Renewal Team is beset with a litany of problems, among them jostling for positions, which has reportedly caused a serious rift between Biti and Elton Mangoma.
The camp is also still trying to come to terms with the recent expulsion of their 21 legislators from parliament.
Although they have mounted a legal battle, the fight appears doomed to fail as a similar case taken to the courts by former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and his nephew Temba Mliswa collapsed at the Constitutional Court last Wednesday.
Close sources who requested anonymity yesterday said the former Finance minister had left for the US where he was expected to be for “quite a long time”.
Biti is part of the legal team representing the expelled MPs and his absence will deal a heavy blow to their case.
Last weekend Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere alleged that Biti was leaving active politics for the United States.
While addressing a Zanu PF meeting in Bulawayo on Sunday, Kasukuwere challenged Biti to disprove the claims that his documents had already been processed for his 10-year stay in the US.
Senior MDC Renewal officials have since challenged the former Finance minister to come clean over the allegations.
“You cannot persuade people to leave Tsvangirai and dump them in the desert,” said one of the officials.
“Because he has lost his job as an MP and chances of being a president are slim, he decides to run away from the struggle. That is a sign of selfishness. It shows that he is acting like a coward. He has lost grassroots support because he took matters for granted that after working as a successful minister of Finance everything would work in his favour.”
Added the MDC Renewal official: “We have plans for Renewal and if he is leaving he should be open to us.”
Others said it was disturbing that the same reasons for which they dumped Tsvangirai were now manifesting themselves in Renewal.
Efforts to get a comment from Biti were fruitless. But Renewal spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Biti was going nowhere. He said Kasukuwere could not speak of Biti’s behalf.
“Kasukuwere is not Biti’s spokesperson. He is going nowhere and is here to say,” said Mafume. – The Starndard