Biti threatens poll boycott

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ZIMBABWE – People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti has told his supporters that he will boycott the 2018 general elections if European Union observers are not invited. Addressing a poorly attended rally at Chinotimba Hall in Victoria Falls last week, Biti lambasted MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, branding him a “corpse”.

His poll boycott threat that was made before less than 100 people echoes his former boss, Tsvangirai’s “no reform, no votes” rhetoric that saw the opposition party boycott by-elections held after the 2013 polls in which Zanu PF garnered more than two thirds majority.

“We’ve made demands that must be met before we agree to go into elections in 2018. We want a brand new voters’ roll and demilitarisation of the election. As a party we’re saying we’re tired of observers from Africa,” Biti said. “We want observers from the EU and United Nations. That only will ensure that there’s a free and fair election and that’s only when we can take part in 2018. Come 2018 (President) Mugabe would have given in to our demands and surrendered.”

He said his party had devised an election equation: PDP plus others (political parties) plus reforms equals to a new Zimbabwe, suggesting that the PDP was eyeing an alliance with unnamed political parties.

Biti, however, said the MDC-T, the Professor Welshman-led MDC, Zapu and Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn were tired. “All political parties are tired. Tsvangirai is a corpse. Dumiso Dabengwa (Zapu) is tired, Simba Makoni (Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn) is tired and so is Welshman Ncube (MDC),” he said.

Biti briefly addressed the Victoria Falls rally before leaving the venue to catch a late afternoon flight back to Harare, leaving his deputy Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, secretary general Gorden Moyo and Women Assembly chairperson Evelyn Masaiti to address the small crowd. Masaiti bragged that PDP had the brains capable of transforming Zimbabwe.

“Our president isn’t selfish as other leaders which is why he was kicked out of Parliament. We’re very proud and rich as PDP because we’ve brains,” she said.

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