Zanu (PF) trying to provoke MDC confrontation: Biti

What is happening in Zimbabwe today is not a preparation for elections, but a violent campaign that could degenerate into civil war, MDC secretary general Tendai Biti has warned.

Tendai Biti
Tendai Biti

"We are now actually in the concluding phase of what has been a slow motion coup d’etat … a coup against democratic governance and democratic values," Biti told The Zimbabwean.

He said Zanu (PF) was trying to provoke the MDC into a confrontation as a pretext for declaring emergency rule. Under current conditions, a free and fair poll is not possible.

He joined Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in urging the immediate deployment of a SADC task team to join the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee as a means of putting a break on the escalating violence. There has been a countrywide lockdown of political activities by Zanu (PF) and the police, with Zanu (PF) supporters violently breaking up an MDC rally in Chitungwiza Sunday – clobbering MDC supporters, vandalising seven MDC vehicles and damaging the perimeter wall at Chibuku Stadium.

Earlier last week, police brought violence to the city centre, firing teargas into Harvest House, the MDC HQ and indiscriminately assaulting shoppers. Several of the MDC’s rallies have been proscribed.

Biti, an expert on electoral fraud tactics, said that Mugabe’s regime had reacted to the real threat of losing power to the MDC with repressive legislation and a "violent survival strategy."

He said this was coordinated by a National Command Centre based at the Zanu (PF) headquarters in Harare, consisting of top governing party officials, members of the Central Intelligence Organisation, the police, paramilitary organisations, self-styled war veterans and paramilitaries.

In an obvious dig at Mugabe, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told reporters the country faced a high risk of imploding if some in leadership continue to privately aid and abet lawlessness while publicly preaching non-violence.

Analysts say is still not too late to force President Robert Mugabe to permit at least a degree of freedom and fairness in the next elections

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