MDC Renewal Team secretary-general Tendai Biti sneaked into the country this week after weeks of speculation that he had jumped ship in the aftermath of his recall from the national assembly.

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BY RICHARD CHIDZA

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Biti, the former Finance minister and high-ranking member of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T led a break-away from the main opposition party following its loss to Zanu PF in the 2013 harmonised elections.

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Tsvangirai recently triggered a constitutional clause that prohibited floor-crossing resulting in the the recall of 21 MPs in the Renewal Team camp, formed after the acrimonious fall-out in April last year.

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Media reports claimed Biti left the country in a huff to take up a position with an American think-tank as a researcher leaving his comrades in the cesspool. However, his lieutenants argued at the time he would return.

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While Biti was not immediately available for comment, another former Cabinet minister and one of the leading lights in the Renewal camp, Elton Mangoma confirmed to NewsDay that indeed Biti was now in the country.

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“He is back and to us it is not surprising. We have tried to tell people the truth, but for some reason there are a few people with an agenda not known to us who wanted to paint a picture of a party in disarray,” Mangoma said.

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“It is important to note that we are a team and when a member is absent someone else takes their place to move the party forward. That is how we operate and although he is a key member of the party his absence did not stop any activities.”

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He added: “The secretary-general (Biti) had and not for the first time joined a think-tank on global development issues for four weeks as he did in December last year. Back then nobody raised an issue, but now people found it convenient to spread all manner of lies just to create despondency in the party”.

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Biti last month reportedly joined the Centre for Global Development in the United States as a visiting fellow, days before the Constitutional Court was to rule on an application by his party to reverse Speaker of the national assembly Jacob Mudenda’s ruling to have him and his colleagues recalled from Parliament. – NewsDay