Biti still in charge, spokesman reiterate after failed palace coup

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti

HARARE – Jacob Mafume, the spokesman for the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has rubbished the reported dismissal of party president Tendai Biti saying the former Finance Minister was firmly in charge and would be presiding over a General Council meeting of the party on Friday.

Earlier Nehanda Radio reported how Biti had been fired by a faction of the party led by Secretary General Gorden Moyo and replaced by National Chairperson Lucia Matibenga.

Moyo, a former Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals in the Government of National Unity, has been at loggerheads with Biti over a decision to join the MDC Alliance led by Morgan Tsvangirai and instead favours an alliance with Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP).

A few hours later however Mafume issued a statement saying “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.

“The country is not in need of a poster boy of tribalism it is looking for leadership with the capacity to unite the people around confronting and liquidating the dictatorship which is the source of suffering among Zimbabweans,” Mafume said in a statement sent to Nehanda Radio.

“For the record a PDP General Council was scheduled for tomorrow the 29th of September 2017. The General council is expected to deliberate the economic crisis, voter registration and other important issues confronting the motherland.

“People’s Democratic Party President Tendai Biti will hold a press briefing at the party offices to convey the key resolutions of the meeting,” Mafume said. Nehanda Radio