HARARE – The embattled ousted leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Tendai Biti on Friday scrambled a few loyal members of the party’s General Council to rebut the expulsion made by rival faction in Bulawayo.
On Thursday members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) opposed to the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance have fired party president Tendai Biti saying he forged an alliance with MDC formations and other opposition groups without following proper party procedures.
PDP secretary general made the announcement in Bulawayo on Thursday after some members of the party convened a General Council meeting, which replaced Biti with national chairperson Lucia Matibenga.
PDP information secretary Jacob Mafume dismissed Biti’s expulsion as a non-event.
But Gorden Moyo, PDP secretary general, said Biti is no longer the party leader.
“… PDP is not a member of the MDC Alliance … Being a member of PDP will be against the constitution of the party.”
He said it was impossible for PDP to forge an alliance with the Movement for Democratic Change, which he described as an unprogressive party.
“So, associating PDP with MDC Alliance will be a violation of the party constitution in particular the preamble Articles 5, 6 and 7. So, we made that decision and allowed our members who have exited from the party to do so and then as a party we replaced them.
“The General Council made a decision to replace those that have exited the party and with effect from today the 28th of September 2017 and the PDP has a new president whose name is Lucia Matibenga, the former national chairperson of PDP …”
Mafume noted that “the circus around the firing of President Tendai Biti is a disturbance in the movement of convergence which is a heeding of a call by the people of Zimbabwe who view a coalition as a platform which offers citizens a fighting chance.
“We also find it ironic that the meeting and subsequent press conference was held at Dr. Sipepa Nkomo’s residence. Nkomo is an individual who deserted the party to join another party despite being given the task to negotiate a coalition. Twenty people cannot gather at Nkomo’s house and plot to derail progress.”
He said a PDP General Council was scheduled for Friday. It is expected to deliberate on the economic crisis, voter registration and other important issues in Zimbabwe.
“People’s Democratic Party President Tendai Biti will hold a press briefing at the party offices to convey the key resolutions of the meeting. Zimbabweans see hope in the current wave of convergence must not be demobilised.”
THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY- GENERAL COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS 29 SEPTEMBER 2017
We, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) General Council seating in HARARE on this the 29th of September 2017.
Concerned by the deepening suffering of the ordinary Zimbabweans due to the economic collapse, joblessness, liquidity crunch, food shortages, poor service delivery and despair among the citizens,
- REALISING that the pursuance of the narrow focus of those in government around the issue of succession in the ruling party, foregoing the core obligations of the state has left the crisis escalating
- DEEPLY AGITATED by the unrepentant fiscal conduct of the government which continues to expend beyond the capacity of government creating huge deficits and funding them through extra-legal means worsening the economic crisis.
- WORRIED by the continuous denial of responsibility and the subsequent persecution of those who speak up including the recent arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire and also the intensified gazetting of instruments of economic coercion.
- ALARMED by escalating levels of corruption within the public sector including the abuse of public funds, with the elites importing luxury cars and buying plush houses abroad.
- NOTING government’s failure to chat the way out of the current crisis outside the hypocritical propaganda around blaming anyone else outside the state.
- Commending the efforts towards a Grand Convergence of opposition forces, with some regret to the discord and setbacks thereof.
- Irked by the premature gazetting of proclamation 6 of 2017 which set the dates of voter registration despite the ill preparedness of ZEC, the unavailability of BVR kits and the fact that no voter education has been done.
- COMMENDING the women and men who despite the confusion endured to be registered as voters.
Hereby resolve as follows:
- The economy is both in a recession, at the same time in an inflationary situation. In a normal environment a crisis of under accumulation will not go hand in hand with price hikes but the inflation in Zimbabwe is a result of the spiking cost of doing business and distortions in the market resulting from the misguided introduction of the bond notes.Recent developments that have seen service stations running dry and poor Mugabe, Chinamonics, Mangudya and ZANUPF have failed. Citizens are losing sleep and nerve they are now stocking basics like cooking oil; this is driven by the fear of a looming calamity. Shelf prices have risen for the past six months and diesel has since become scarce with a fuel black-market beginning is emerging, a black market for cereals other basics have been present in the streets of Harare at night every day for close to half a year .The People’s Democratic Party Insists that an urgent establishment of a National Transitional Authority is the best route.
- The NTAmust urgently deal with the following
- Attend to macroeconomic stability; in this regard we contend that fiscal discipline must be maintained and that the government must immediately resort to the principle of cash budgeting.
- Financial Sector Stability and Liquidity by scraping the bond note, paying back the stolen RTGS balances, promotion of plastic money and in the long term facilitating a regional monetary union.
- Industrialization through a shift from an extraction model to beneficiation, repealing the indigenisation law and investing in infrastructure which makes it easy to do business. Also of importance is the funding of distressed industries and marginalised areas.
- Rationalization of the 2017 Budget, reduce the Budget to an achievable target which can fully be covered by domestic revenues and also develop external partnerships that can take care of social sector obligation in areas like BEAM and drug procurement.
- Retrenchment of Expenditure, rationalizing the wage bill by dealing with the issue of ghost works.
- State Owned Enterprises at least 30% of GDP is being drained through state owned enterprises that have become a vehicle of patronage. The state enterprises are increasing domestic debt making reform of the institutions urgent.
- Restoration Of Land Value ,the revival of the agricultural sector is predicated upon the restoration of the land value through the issuance of land title i.e. title deeds to all the beneficiaries of the land reform program.
- Mining, Zimbabwe is endowed with world class reserves of commodities which however are regulated by imperial regulation that promotes primitive accumulation and self-aggrandizement. There is need to create a framework for value addition, transparent allocation of mining rights and spatial linkages in the sector.
- International Re-Engagement, end isolation of the nation, dealing with the debt question and negotiate a martial plan aimed at reconstruction.
- Peace, reconciliation and electoral reform, end the current toxicity of hate language and intolerance, address grievances of the past and ensure just but more importantly prepare for a free and fair election.
- The Constitution
- 1 The Constitutional amendment 1,effectively amends the appointment of the Chief Justice, and is being pushed by Zanu PF is a blatant undermining of the constitution and democratic principles of separation of powers and the supremacy of the constitution.
- 2What is evident factional is fights have spilled into the judiciary which further compromises judicial independence as set out in the constitution. The leadership of the PDP is urged to escalate the fight against the amendment as it was passed without the requisite two thirds majority in Parliament.
2. Electoral Process
- 1 ZEC’s failure to prepare for the on-going voter registration is a concern. It is in our view a deliberate ploy to disenfranchise citizens who might vote against incompetence and failure.
- 2 ZEC’s failure to state on record that they are not prepared for voter registration and failure to conduct an elaborate voter education program as required by the law is in itself an illegality. The PDP restates that the lack of transparency around these and other processes is a highlight that ZEC is not independent and raises questions on the integrity of the election.
- 3 In light of all the shenanigans which are surrounding the operations of the commission which include its militarisation, secrecy of operations around the BVR process and government interference creates a platform for massive rigging of the 2018 election.
- 4 As party however we are determined and clear that the reforms are necessary but not adequate to bring about the transformation that the country needs. Thus our resolve is to fight and remove the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe by any democratic means possible hence our commitment to the convergence of the opposition which will roll out an intensified voter registration program.
- We note with concern the ever escalation levels of corruption that continue to rob the public of billions of funds that can go into public works and social service infrastructure. At the centre of this graft is the First Family from hell which has introduced a luxury car importation contest and continues to globe trot on the tax payers’ account.
- 2 The political elites in ZANUPF continue to be figured in corrupt activities with no action being taken. Police corruption is still rife with those entrusted to uphold the law having turned into pirates terrorising motorists on the roads for bribes.
3 Party development and Coalitions
- In the furtherance of the congress resolution to enter into coalitions with likeminded parties, the PDP restates that the party is part of the MDC Alliance; negotiations will only work to broaden this coalition and make it more inclusive.
- The party notes with concern yesterday’s purported expulsion of President Biti and other unnamed individuals ironically accused for being pro-convergence.
- Despite this being acts of gross misconduct by senior members of the party, the General Council resolved to give the individuals time to sober up. In the face of this the party appoints the following people to act on interim basis to avoid a leadership vacuum. Evelyn Masaiti is the Interim National Chairperson, Settlement Chikwinya shall be the acting Secretary General, Albert Mhlanga is the acting Deputy organising secretary and Edwin Ndlovu shall be the acting deputy spokesperson. The General Council will review this position in due course.
- The party also reshuffled the Negotiation team which was led by Dr Gorden Moyo who is now replaced by the Deputy President Kucaca Phulu, he will continue to be assisted by Jacob Mafume, Settlement and Evelyn Masaiti also joins the team replacing Benson Ntini. The negotiation team has been obligated to conclude the talks by the 14th of October 2017.
- The Party will intensify voter registration; announce a date and venue for the policy conference which shall determine electoral inputs into the alliance manifesto among other policy resolutions.
- The Party is committed to offering thought leadership on key national issues affecting ordinary Zimbabweans, seeing that the ZANU PF government is clueless and currently engulfed in succession battles on the back of an ageing Robert Mugabe.
Office of Information and Publicity
People’s Democratic Party (PDP)