Biti says he respects Tsvangirai but differs with former boss on principles


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ZIMBABWE – Leader of the newly transformed People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Tendai Biti says he has respect and high regard for his former leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Biti said this while speaking on private radio station ZiFM stereo’s current affairs programme Monday night with Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa.

The PDP president said political parties are voluntary associations bound by common visions and the moment it becomes obvious that a leader is pulling the other direction the normal thing is for others to move on.

Biti said he left the MDC-T not because of personal clashes with Tsvangirai but because of differences on principles and values.

He said the real issue was on the question of change and the refusal by some members of the MDC-T to accept the reality of renewal and transformation.

“My differences with Tsvangirai are not personal; he is someone I regard as a long standing and founding member of the MDC.

“He is someone I regard as a comrade but what I think one cannot do is to compromise principles and values.

“The minute some of us felt that in respect of values on which the original party was formed in 1999 had been dissipated or betrayed naturally the breakdown became inevitable,” said Biti.

“So, those contradictions have occurred but they are now in the past, so it’s now time to move forward and build the future of Zimbabwe”.

Biti added that both he and the MDC-T leader were genuinely seeking transformation and change in Zimbabwe.

“I have no doubt that Tsvangirai shares that vision and I have no doubt that at some stage perhaps very soon our paths will cross in the different boats that we now belong to.”

The PDP leader also said it was high time Zimbabwean politics moved from personalities to ideas and issues.

“What has killed Africa is this psychosis with big men politics, the Mzee Jomo Kenyattas, Mzee Daniel Arab Moi, Mzee Kenneth Kaunda, the founding father of Pan-Africanism Kwame Khrumah himself; they all have been obsessed with personalities and not substance and not ideas on transformation.

“And at PDP we are concerned with issues and substance.

“President Mugabe has been president of this country for the last 35 years as a big personality but in my book he is a little big man, little in the sense that what has he done for his people?

“We are a poor and struggling society where 70% of people are living the in the rural areas sharing the same water with their goats and pigs.

“… 54% of our people still use the bush as a toilet; that’s little in my dictionary.”

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