ZANU PF Congress Publicly "Condemns" Tendai Biti As a Saboteur
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe has solutions of his own when it comes to Tendai Biti, the Finance Minister who has even been sent bullets in the mail. The just-ended ZANU PF Congress (Mugabe is seen listening to the wrap up yesterday, Saturday 12 December, in the photo above) condemned Tendai Biti in strong language and urged Mugabe not to give in on anything the MDC wants addressed until they get sanctions lifted and stop the broadcasts of independent, foreign-based radio stations which are now referred to by ZANU PF as "pirate radio stations".
Harare, Zimbabwe, 13 December 2009
The ZANU PF Congress which ended in Harare yesterday "condemned in the strongest terms" Fnance Minister and MDC-Tsvangirai Secretary-General Tendai Biti over the way he is managing the country's finances.
“Congress condemns in the strongest terms, the reckless actions of the Minister Biti’s in particular his abuse of constitutional authority to prevent the release of the US$510 million IMF Global financial crisis mitigation facility and his systematic denial of seasonal support to the agricultural sector and his peanut budget for the year 2010," said Didymus Mutasa, ZANU PF's Secretary for Administration of the party.
Mugabe himself is pushing for Biti to be fired or sent to another Ministry. He told his Politburo at the start of the Congress that "The MDC is no friend of farmers. They are not friends of agriculture. They want the country to fail because that is where they get their power."
Last week, he called Biti "incompetent, unwilling and unable" to do his job over the delay in disbursing agricultural inputs.
As I have revealed before, Mugabe sees Biti's prudent management of Treasury as a continuation of sanctions from within the corridors of power. Along the same line, Mutasa also read another disturbing resolution from the ZANU PF Congress:
"There should be no movement on the concerns of the MDC formations without corresponding and simultaneous redress of ZANU-PF’s concerns such as the illegal western sanctions and western funded pirate radio broadcasts," he said.
Which raises the question of what "progress" in the ongoing talks Morgan Tsvangirai and his supporters and apologists have been talking about for the last two weeks, after the expiry of their deadline of 30 November for Mugabe to "resolve all outstanding issues."
No quarter has been given. No concessions have been made, no matter what the negotiators told each other and no matter what Tsvangirai believes. The one who is supposed to implement these decisions, to actually appoint and swear in governors and the like, Robert Mugabe, will just sit on the recommendations and keep Tsvangirai at bay.
You will recall that the SADC Troika Ministerial Task Team that came to Zimbabwe just before the Troika meeting in Mozambique also expressed concern that "The Prime Minister has no access to the President." So Mugabe will simply continue along the same lines and Tsvangirai will get no opportunity to put his matters to Mugabe directly outside of the Principals' meeting on Mondays and Cabinet on Tuesday.
Tsvangirai does not control the agenda of either of these meetings and Mugabe, as a matter of course, refuses to entertain anything that is not on the agenda.
We also now know that he is impatient for this government to collapse because he believes that ZANU PF has created the conditions that are necessary to win in the countryside.
It is about numbers and Mugabe is very good at that.
Those who are old enough will remember a British journalist who was stunned in the internationally-supervised Independence elections in 1980, when Mugabe told the media that his party would win 59 seats and ended up winning 60 instead. Few could understand where the accuracy came from, but those who know how ZANU PF structures itself, especially in the rural areas, will not be surprised.
Of course, Tendai Biti, as I have said before, is simply ensuring that things are done by the book, but there is no such discipline in his own MDC and in ZANU PF, so he is fighting pretty much a losing battle.
Tsvangirai will not fire him, but Mugabe has gotten around that by giving Gideon Gono covert sweeping powers to act "in the interests of the nation" when he feels that Tendai Biti is being an obstruction.
Locally, Gono will get away with it, but when it comes to international finance matters, such as the IMF issue, things will be done by the book and Tendai Biti will wield enormous powers.
It is this that is grating Mugabe and his party.
It is for this reason that they can not wait for the Inclusive Government to collapse so that they can go back to the people and have elections under the current environment of fear in the countryside.
It is definitely not yet Uhuru.
So, this statement by Mutasa is simply an amplification of Mugabe's own very well-known sentiments.