NOW DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS|
By JOHN CHIMUNHU|
Expelled former Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti suffered the most crushing blow yet to his so-called ‘renewal’ project on Friday.
In short, High Court judge Happias Zhou ordered the Biti group to stop any hearings or proceedings against MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai. This is pending the outcome of another application by MDC national council members to have the ‘renewal’ group’s purported suspension of Tsvangirai and other leaders at their so-called ‘Mandel meeting’ nullified.
This is what Judge Zhou said: “Pending the finalisation of the applicant’s action brought under case HC 4955/14, the respondents and any person claiming through them be and are hereby interdicted from implementing any resolution of the meeting held by respondents at Mandel training centre.”
Case suspended indefinitely! So where do these rebels get more currency? So far, they have specialised in embarrassing Tsvangirai. But without any viable agenda to hold them together except whipping the party president, frustration is already setting in and the rebel camp is disintegrating as we speak. I am told that two very senior members of this outfit, who went into it for a quick buck are already backsliding as the reality dawns on them that they now face political oblivion, having failed to remove Tsvangirai.
Trying to get rid of the former prime minister was the most foolish political blunder Biti and his gang ever made. Even Robert Mugabe has failed to terminate Tsvangirai in the last 15 years, with all the state resources at his disposal. Biti and his team, if it is not yet a rowdy mob by now, could have gone the accepted democratic route and waited until congress, while building their support base. Apparently, impatience and bad advice from their Zanu PF and Western donor handlers spurred them into premature action. They found themselves out on the street, without a platform to address party structures. Even their few, albeit powerful, sympathisers do not want to associate with them publicly. Ask Simba Makoni how this scenario played out for him when he rebelled against Mugabe.
What should be dawning on Biti and his confused group of money and power-hungry lightweight politicians is that no court can give you what only the people can give, which is popular support and enduring power.
In the wake of the Friday judgement, many MDC officials and supporters are trooping back ‘home’ to Tsvangirai. It will take pragmatism and wisdom on the part of the MDC leadership to process all these high-profile returnees and decide their new place in the party following their rebellion.
The point is, the greatest mistake the ‘renewal’ team made was to rush into action without consulting the party’s grassroots. Now that the courts have shot down their rushed attempt at a palace coup against Tsvangirai, they are now desperate for support from the lower ranks. But considering the shabby treatment they have subjected Tsvangirai to, few would have any sympathy for them in their current troubles.
Biti played to the gallery , which turned out to be the Zanu PF gallery. When he started attacking Tsvangirai, he suddenly became a darling of the state media. What the naive Biti did not realise was that Zanu PF does not forget and does not forgive, even when one has surrendered to them. Ask Arthur Mutambara. While he was cosying up to Zanu PF, Biti backtracked on all the principles that have held the MDC together as the country’s largest party despite daily attacks and impoverishment from Zanu PF. The peoples derision with the then secretary-general started when he took the unwise decision to represent corrupt former central bank governor Gideon Gono, the man accused of looting the RBZ to the point of bankruptcy. The worst mistake however, was Biti’s defence of Mugabe’s phenomenal rigging of the July 31 2013 election. This was despite the presence of overwhelming evidence that the vote was stolen. A lot of other foolish moves have done a lot to undermine Biti’s attempt to get to the helm of the MDC without the approval of the grassroots. Without the transparency which he has been demanding from Tsvangirai, Biti set up an ‘executive’ with shadowy characters who have failed to hold the attention of the public. Often tearing away in broken Englsh, Jacob Mafume has made a mockery of party spokesmanship. Many are now asking about his background. It turns out that like Biti or Welshman Ncube, he rose in the party riding on the coat-tails of Morgan Tsvangirai. Biti himself has virtually no clout on his own and can not move a crowd with a speech, except spewing the usual vulgarities. Sam Sipepa Nkomo has a chequered background with unresolved corruption cases, including those at his last posting at the ministry of water.
With this amount of bungling, many are now accusing Biti of giving the MDC president and the party wrong advice and costing them crucial elections.Or was he just a Zanu PF mole?