"Tendai Biti Will Be Dead By Year-End"
Tendai Biti, seen here in conversation with Mugabe, has had his life threatened and his staff thoroughly beaten up by soldiers. Sources in the military say there is a determination to do him in by the end of the year. I do not think he should take any of this seriously at all.
Unless Tendai Biti backs off from Gideon Gono, he will be dead by the end of the year and there is nothing anybody can do about it. This is according to sources in the Defence Forces. Clearly, it is intimidation, and it may or may not have substance behind it.
Still, it bears bringing to your attention because the fight has now escalated into the physical realm.
This revelation comes as it emerges that on Saturday, 01 August 2009, one of Biti's aides at his home in Harare was thoroughly beaten up by soldiers who guard the home of the Commander of the Zimbabwe Army. The MDC-T released a statement identifying the attacker.
Police are denying that any report has been to them.
Last week, Biti received a bullet in an envelope with instructions to sort out his estate.
With Tsvangirai having now been thoroughly co-opted by Mugabe and considered "neutralised", ZANU PF and Mugabe now see Biti as the main stumbling block to their plans.
Biti has been fighting to get the Reserve Bank Governor fired by Mugabe on the basis that international financiers and donors will not trust him with any money given to Zimbabwe.
Mugabe is refusing to concede this point at all.
The Defence Forces sources say that Biti's problem is that Gono is closely linked to the top brass of the defence forces. He is alleged to to be heavily involved in "laundering" diamonds looted from the Chiadzwa Diamond fields.
Some months ago, you will recall I told you about the buckets of rough diamonds kept in the basement vaults of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
By seeking to get rid of Gideon Gono, Biti is attacking (maybe unwittingly) the very foundation of the continued funding of not only ZANU PF, but also the lavish personal lifestyles of some of Mugabe's top military brass.
If Gono was to be replaced by a neutral person today, all these deals would be blown out of the water. It is unlikely that the Inclusive Government would survive the revelations that would ensure.
Of course, the military brass are worried primarily about their cash cows and the sleek all-wheel-drive vehicles purchased for them by the Reserve Bank with State funds.
Their kids are sent to school in foreign lands, with some of their allowances being previously paid directly out of Reserve Bank coffers. They are not worried about the health of the Inclusive Government at all.
In fact, they wish it dead and are rather timidly pointed to by Tsvangirai whenever "hardliners" are mentioned.
The likelihood of Tendai Biti dying a violent death are remote. He will have to step very carefully around his comrades in government though.
Already, state agents have started circulating the rumour that the Minister suffers from a fatal and incurable infection and is only being kept alive by medication.
This could be preparation of public opinion for when things go wrong and they can always reveal these details.
ZANU PF and Mugabe have managed to keep the Zimbabwean people's collective head down by these tactics. By casting doubt on the moral rectitude or motivating force behind their enemies, they get people thinking twice.
In the case of something happening, the people do not then take to the streets because in their minds, the doubt in already present: "Maybe he did it......the police do not just arrest someone for nothing......He knows what he did, that is why is acting that way, and so on....."
The current wave of arrests of MDC-T MPs is a case in point, with most people saying there must be evidence of abductions and rapes of 12 year old girls by the MDC-T MPs.
Hence you do not get residents marching in the street when the man they elected to parliament is sent to jail for a year or so.
As for Biti, I doubt anything is going to happen to him unless he scores a spectacular victory in his fight against Gono. Then, and only then, would the renegades act.
Right now, Mugabe is telling them, as I told you in February: "Leave them to me. This is politics."