Cracks emerge in MDC Alliance as Biti labels Marange people as backward

Tendai Biti

Fissures in the MDC Alliance came out in the open yesterday with senior officials in the pact trading insults on micro-blogging site, Twitter.

People’s Democratic Party leader Mr Tendai Biti clashed with MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora after the former labelled the life of the villagers in Marange in Manicaland “feudal”.

Mr Mwonzora, who hails from Manicaland, called Mr Biti to order saying he should respect people from his home province.

The MDC Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa held a campaign rally in Marange over the weekend.

Mr Biti, using his Twitter handle @BitiTendai said: “A big rare smile from Marange . . . Manicaland regrettably has the highest rate of polygamy in the country with 45% of ‘married’ persons in this community being in polygamous unions. Education & development will eliminate these throw-backs from our feudal past.”

Irked by the tweet, Mr Mwonzora responded: “The people in Marange deserve respect. They are certainly not feudal.”

Zimbabweans also joined in the thread with most of them castigating Mr Biti for the statements.

@Phidze72 said: “Fractures in the opaque relationship between the Alliance & MDC-T? Brother to the prodigal son not happy? while @Clickyc weighed in: “@DMwonzora Thanks Doug wagona watsiura munhu uyu.”

Another tweet by @jackiepanganai read: “@BitiTendai Biti stop using scathing language, try to express it in a better way boss while @torencett added: “You are right Advocate Mwonzora,this will send a message straight away to MDC supporters that the party is not associated in any way with that statement. “

@bennyekete said “True Douglas. Biti anomborasika mhani”

The fight between the two senior officials came as the alliance is becoming increasingly wobbly with other coalition partners threatening to pull out over Mr Chamisa’s “big-headedness” and imposition of MDC-T candidates in several constituencies.

The MDC Alliance is made up of seven political parties — MDC-T, led by Mr Nelson Chamisa; PDP (Mr Tendai Biti); MDC (Professor Welshman Ncube); Transform Zimbabwe (Mr Jacob Ngarivhume); Zanu-Ndonga (Mr Denford Musiyarira); Multi-Racial Christian Democratic Party (Mr Mathias Guchutu) and Zimbabwe People First (Mr Agrippa Mutambara).

It is believed that other political parties that are part of the pact are actively reviewing their position in the alliance, accusing Mr Chamisa of bullying.

This has seen Harare West National Assembly National Assembly member Ms Jessie Majome withdrawing from the MDC-T primary elections citing irregularities.

She said she would stand as an independent in the forthcoming general elections.

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