As tensions rise in Zimbabwe ahead of the planned #31July mass protests, Tendai Biti, the MDC co-vice president has responded to Zanu PF acting spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa who early this week labelled him a puppet of the West.
At a press conference at Zanu PF headquarters in Harare on Monday, Chinamasa described Biti as an intelligent politician who was, however, using his talents to undermine the ruling Zanu PF and the country's revolution.
"I have respect for him (Biti) for his intellectual prowess. Let me say that he is very clever," Chinamasa said.
"But my disappointment is that he uses money that Zanu PF used to educate him to undermine the revolution to be a puppet and often I wonder how such an intelligent person cannot realise that he is being duped by his handlers. It is a pity."
However, Biti hit back at Chinamasa, describing the former justice minister as a failed, dangerous Zanu PF appendage.
"Patrick Chinamasa is a failed but dangerous Zanu PF appendage. He is a sadistic, ruthless and cunning apparatchik without any restraint or limits," he said.
"Part of his insane zeal comes from the fact that he did not participate in the liberation struggle, was hiding in a law firm. We reject the insane and unbalanced remarks of Chinamasa, a political ramshackle that needs to retire."
He said the MDC Alliance rejected attempts by Zanu PF and the government to turn the #31July protests into another 1 August 2018 assault when six opposition supporters were gunned down with 35 more injured by State security agents in central Harare.
The suspected MDC Alliance followers were protesting against the delay by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to announce the results of the presidential election of 30 July that year.
"We, therefore, condemn and reject any attempt to de facto suspend the Constitution. Stop harassing citizens. Zimbabweans have a right to participate in peaceful protest codified in section 59 of the Constitution.
"That is what #31July is all about. We support that. But we reject the attempt to weaponise and instrumentalise #31July. We reject the regime's aim of turning 31 July into 1 August. Uphold the Constitution."