Chiredzi: MDC deputy national chair Tendai Biti has vowed his allegiance to party leader Nelson Chamisa whom he says was tasked by late founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai to finish the job of reuniting the party’s breakaway factions.
Biti was addressing party followers at Chamisa’s election ‘thank you’ rally in Chiredzi on Sunday.
The former Finance Minister ironically wielded more party influence than Chamisa until his shock exit to form his own People’s Democratic Party 2014.
Ncube was first to ditch the party 2005, and just like Biti, he cited what were widening differences with Tsvangirai over the running of the popular opposition.
In his Sunday address, Biti said the two MDC former secretary generals made the decision to track their steps back to the mainstream MDC in keeping with Tsvangirai’s wishes.
“The late Tsvangirai called me and Professor Welshman Ncube at his Highlands home and he said ‘please come back and we rebuild our party to what it was in 1999’,” Biti said of a charismatic politician who later died of colon cancer at a South African hospital February 2018.
“When he (Tsvangirai) was going to South Africa for the last time, he called us again on the 5th of January 2018 and he said ‘I am going and you two, Biti and Ncube, I leave you with Nelson Chamisa’.
“Walk together and work together. If I come back, I will join you; if I don’t come back, that’s it’.
“We asked him why he was saying that and he said ‘I am an old man and I understand my health situation’.”
Biti, who is vying to be elected one of the three MDC vice presidents during this week’s MDC elective congress, declared his loyalty to Chamisa.
“So the commitment that I and Welshman Ncube gave to Baba Tsvangirai, we will stand irrevocably, unbreakably with Advocate Nelson Chamisa,” he said.
But while Biti attaches his return to the wishes of the once State Prime Minister, the decision to accept back what many MDC loyalists feel was an act of resurrecting party rebels’ political careers, has not been too popular with a section of the opposition’s membership.
A group of disgruntled opposition MDC activists calling calling themselves ‘in Defence of Morgan Tsvangirai Legacy (DMTL)’ wants Biti, Ncube and their followers barred from contesting for any leadership positions in the mainstream MDC.
The pressure group has branded the two as traitors.