A personal statement by the Honourable Tendai Biti
Zimbabwe at a crossroads
Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. The weight of a stolen election, unprecedented corruption and the looting of public assets sits heavy on the shoulders of Zimbabweans who want and deserve better.
The environment in the world right now is toxic. The wars in Ukraine and the Middle East have pushed Zimbabwe to the bottom of the World’s attention calendar. This has allowed the vampire state here to carry out brazen election fraud. Not satisfied, the regime is now engaged in a malicious push to weaken our struggle, the progressive movement, through the illegal recall of elected public representatives.
It is therefore shocking to hear, and read, a daily stream of abusive, malicious and defamatory claims that Professor Welshman Ncube and I, are colluding with the regime and its proxies to append a struggle that have occupied and consumed all our adult lives. I do not speak for Prof Ncube, an honest and decent comrade who buried his dear mother on Friday, but as someone who has been in this struggle for as long as I have, one who has endured Zanu PF’s jails and physical attacks by the same, it is heartbreaking, if not tragic, that many Cdes that have been with us on this journey are now given false labels and badges, Zanu PF wish they had coined first.
I don’t believe in recalls. I have never been part of recalls. I will never be part of recalls. In my life, I have been recalled twice in 2015 and in 2021 through the pernicious use of section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I know the pain of a recall. My family knows the pain of a recall. The people of Harare East know the pain a recall. With other MPs, such as Temba Mliswa, we unsuccessfully fought for the removal and repeal of section 129(1)(k).
Like most Zimbabweans, I only get to read about the patently illegal recalls by Mr. Tshabangu in the newspapers. Given what I and my family have given to this struggle, it saddens me that I have to state publicly that I will never be part of a project to weaken the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe. I have been imprisoned and tortured for the change we all seek, and I have stood firm. I have never worked for Zanu PF, and I will die before I lend my hand to the illegitimate Zanu PF regime.
I had hoped to be a Member of Parliament. I have my reservations about the process that prevented this happening. I have my challenges and reservations about our identity, structural, strategic and procedural polity. I am a democrat who believes in constitutionalism, the rule of law, transparency, openness and collective leadership. I can never compromise on these core values. However, no dispute nor differences is ever sufficient to place one at the service of Zanu PF.
I have a daily job at my law practice and that’s where I have retreated to fight for Zimbabweans in that sphere of my influence. Additionally, I have progressive international engagements that require my full attention.
Fellow Zimbabweans, all this chatter and actions by the illegitimate regime and its proxies are an engineered distraction from the main prize: to free ourselves from this rapacious dictatorship. It has been a long and tortuous road; and victory is closer than the distance back to where we started.
11 November 2023