Biti is mourning about Parliament ouster

HARARE – The beleaguered MDC Renewal Team Secretary General, Tendai Biti, has admitted that Zimbabwe’s opposition, his team included, has largely failed to deliver according to the expectations of citizens.

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He made the remarks today while addressing journalists in the capital in the wake of the dismissal of 21 MDC renewal Legislators on the grounds that they had crossed the floor from the MDC-T to join the MDC led by Welshman Ncube.

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“The position in opposition politics leaves a lot to be desired and so as people in opposition politics in general, we ought to apologise to the people of Zimbabwe because we ought to be doing better,” said Biti.

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Regarding the expulsion of the 21 law-makers, Biti blamed MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, for working in cahoots with Zanu (PF) to decimate opposition seats in Parliament.

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He contended that, the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, had acted in an unconstitutional manner by expelling the 21 legislators.

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Denying that his group had joined hands with Ncube, Biti said there were two centres of power in the MDC-T.

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“What has been done is a breach of the constitution of Zimbabwe. There is no right of a general recall in our constitution and there are two centers of power in the party (MDC-T). What we have here is a case of the law blinking and giving way to politics.

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“Section 129 (1) (k) of the constitution does not have a general recall clause. A recall clause pertains to a situation whereby a member would have seized to belong to a particular party and that party would have written to the Speaker of Parliament notifying him of that,” said Biti.

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He said they were aware of a meeting between MDC-T and Zanu (PF) members that led to the crafting of the letter recommending the expulsion of the Renewal Team MPs.

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“The meeting did take place between two of our erstwhile colleagues and some elements of the ruling party in respect of which a roadmap towards it was done,” said Biti.

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He, however, refused to reveal the names of the people involved.

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The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T has applauded yesterday’s expulsion of 21 MPs aligned to a breakaway faction led by Tendai Biti.

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Speaker of parliament, Jacob Mudenda, on Tuesday announced the expulsion of the MPs from the MDC Renewal Team on the basis that they had joined a new movement, UMDC.

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“The MDC applauds the decision by the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate to uphold the provisions of Section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and allow the recalling of 21 Members of Parliament who deserted the party that sponsored them to get elected into the august House.

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“The 21 former MPs deserted the MDC and joined a rival political party that now calls itself the UMDC. Their rebellious move meant that they were no longer representatives of the MDC party that got them elected into Parliament,” said the MDC-T national spokesperson, Obert Gutu, in a statement today.

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He added: “The decision to recall the rebel 21 MPs is also in keeping with one of the key resolutions of the MDC 4th national congress that was held at the City Sports Centre in Harare from October 31, 2014 to November 2, 2014. Congress unanimously resolved that these renegade MPs be recalled from Parliament since they were no longer representing the interests of the party and the people who voted them into office.”

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The MPs, among them Biti, broke ranks with MDC-T last year, accusing Tsvangirai of leadership failure that they blamed for the heavy loss at the 2013 general elections.

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They formed the Renewal Team which immediately claimed they had “fired” Tsvangirai and his loyalists from MDC.

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“It is beyond reasonable disputation that the renegade MPs’ continued stay in Parliament purporting to be representing the MDC was not only hypocritical but wholly self – serving and completely disrespectful and highly contemptuous of the thousands of MDC supporters who voted them into Parliament on July 31,2013.

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“It is beyond debate that the 21 renegade MPs were voted into Parliament on an MDC ticket but they later joined another political party without the mandate of the people who put them into office. The 21 rebels selfishly betrayed the people who voted them into office.

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These political renegades should have had the common decency to consult the people who elected them into Parliament before making the decision to cross over to form another political party,” said Gutu.

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He said the expulsion of the 21 presented an opportunity for them to contest in by-elections as representatives of a separate party or as independents.