HARARE – Former Finance minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Tendai Biti has warned that Zanu PF’s ugly factional and succession battles could plunge the country into civil unrest which could lead to an illegal government.

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Former Finance minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Tendai Biti

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Biti told the Daily News in an interview at the weekend that the vicious fights between the ruling party factions angling to have their preferred candidate succeed President Robert Mugabe had reached dangerous levels, amid indications that they were set to worsen unless pro-democracy groups agitated for a transitional government stabilise the situation.

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“As long as Mugabe is alive, those factions will be able to hide behind him as the sole unifying element. But once he is gone, which could be anytime, disaster looms because these factions — as was demonstrated during the war against Joice Mujuru — are not capable of dialogue and they use violence and de-legitimation as an instrument of political arbitration,” Biti warned.

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“What happens the day after (Mugabe is gone)? So our submission is that to avert an implosion, to avert civil war here, to avert a military coup here, as a matter of urgency, now or when the president is gone, we need a National Transitional Authority,  which is an inclusive construction or an inclusive government,” he added.

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Biti’s ominous warning comes as the Zanu PF war to succeed Mugabe has intensified in recent weeks, almost moving at the same alarming pace as the country’s imploding economy.

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Mugabe’s increasingly influential wife, Grace, touted in some circles within the strife-torn Zanu PF as one of the many potential future presidents, is said to be harbouring ambitions of succeeding her frail husband, although she publicly denied this.

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But Biti, who has worked with both Mugabe and Mnangagwa during his time in the inclusive government, sees imminent danger for Zimbabwe, unless there is a let-up in the fights within the ruling party, which have continued, almost 10 months after the brutal purges of Mujuru and her key allies.

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“I think that there is an itch in Zanu PF. There is an itch which needs scratching. There are various individuals, various factions and various characters that are dying to be on each other’s throat; not for the purposes of national development, not for the purposes of national reconstruction but for the purposes of power and power alone,” he told the Daily News. – Daily News

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The post ‘Zimbabwe headed for chaos’ – Biti appeared first on The Zimbabwe Mail.