New Zimbabwe (London)

15 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai and Mugabe Are Both Failures - Biti

OPPOSITION leader Tendai Biti has rallied the young generation to rise to the challenge of rescuing the country saying President Robert Mugabe and his political nemesis Morgan Tsvangirai were two sides of the same coin and abysmal failures.

The MDC-T secretary general told a meeting of his Renewal Team's Midlands South structures in Gweru at the weekend that Zimbabwe needed a generational paradigm shift.

"Zimbabwe requires new thinking, a new conversation and a new discourse," he said.

"President Robert Mugabe represents the failure of the liberation movement that is Zanu PF while Tsvangirai is the face of the failure of the democratic struggle.

"The two are a reflection of each other, a direct reflection of everything that is wrong with this country, politically, economically, socially and morally."

The former finance minister said the young generation needs to take up the fight to rescue the country.

"We cannot therefore just fold our hands and wait for things to move on their own; we cannot be doing the same things over and over again," he said.

"It is the height of insanity but, as a people, none but ourselves will rescue this nation. It is a generational calling that we must take up without reservation if we are to rescue this nation.

"Zimbabwe is crying for rethinking because the pre and post-independence politicians have failed the nation."

Biti has emerged as de-facto leader of a group of opposition MDC-T hawks who have, so far, unsuccessfully pressed Tsvangirai's exit from office, in a development that has effectively split the party into two.

Tsvangirai stands accused of inept leadership and failing to dislodge Mugabe after three presidential poll loses.

The dispute has, for the second time in less than 10 years, split the country's biggest opposition party.

Backing leadership change ... Some of the supporters who attended Biti meeting in Gweru

Biti is now on a whirlwind tour of the country's provinces building structures for his movement with indications that a congress for the new political formation eminent.

He said the recreation of the Zimbabwean state needs to happen as a matter of urgency to alleviate the ordinary people's suffering.

"Zimbabweans are suffering and groaning under the weight of a political, social, moral and economic crisis and nobody seems to care," he lamented.

"The government is trying to sell a dead economic blue-print in the form of the ZimAsset document while Tsvangirai, instead of proffering an alternative, is busy sloganeering.

"It is a sad indictment on this generation if we are to leave these two mean to keep this country in perpetual electoral mode to cover their shortcomings."

Tsvangirai has also resorted to holding rallies across the country in a bid to shore-up his support and crush the revolt against his leadership.

The former premier has led the MDC-T since formation 15 years ago and got a feel of life in government while sharing power with Mugabe and Zanu PF between 2009 and last year's elections.

But after the MDC-T's disastrous showing in that vote, previously trusted lieutenants among them Roy Bennett, Biti, deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma on the veteran trade unionist, openly telling him to leave office.

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