Tendai Biti

From Pindula
Tendai Biti
Tendia Biti
Vice President of Movement for Democratic Change
Incumbent
Assumed office
25 May 2019
President of People's Democratic Party
In office
10 September 2015 – August 2017 (became part of MDC Alliance)
MDC-T Secretary General
In office
2005 – 29 April 2014
Succeeded by Tapiwa Mashakada
Minister of Finance
In office
13 February 2009 – 10 September 2013
Preceded by Patrick Chinamasa
Succeeded by Patrick Chinamasa
Member of Parliament for Harare East
In office
2000 – 29 April 2014
Preceded by Tirivanhu Mudariki
Succeeded by Terence Mukupe
Personal details
Born Tendai Laxton Biti
(1966-08-06) August 6, 1966 (age 53)
Dzivarasekwa, Harare, Zimbabwe
Political party People’s Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Charity Maguwa
Alma mater University of Zimbabwe
Religion Christianity

Tendai Laxton Biti is a politician and currently one of the 3 Vice Presidents of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). He was elected the vice presidency in May 2019 at the MDC Congress.

Biti is also one of Zimbabwe's most prominent lawyers. Biti is currently Member of Parliament for Harare East. Biti was part of the founding team of the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999 together with Morgan Tsvangirai, Gibson Sibanda, Welshman Ncube, Nelson Chamisa, Learnmore Jongwe and others.

Background[edit]

Tendai Biti born August 6, 1966 in Dzivarasekwa Harare. He is the eldest in a family of six. He started politics at the University of Zimbabwe where he was Secretary General of the Student Representative Council between 1988 and 1989. He, together with Arthur Mutambara and the late Learnmore Jongwe, organized demonstrations against government censorship in education.

Education[edit]

He did his secondary education at Goromonzi High School between 1980 and 1985 where he was appointed deputy head boy in 1995. He holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Zimbabwe.

Positions Held[edit]

Biti was voted to be the Secretary General of MDC-T at the 2005 Congress a position which he still holds. Some of the positions he held are as follows:

  • Minister of Finance in the Government of National Unity (2009 -2013)
  • Secretary-General of the Movement for Democratic Change –Tsvangirai (March 2005 – present)
  • Member of Parliament for Harare East Constituency (2000 - 2013)
  • Founding Member of Movement for Democratic Change
  • Human Rights Lawyer
  • Co-Founder of the National Constitutional Assembly
  • Co-Founder of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.[1]

Biti also served as a Member of Board of Governors at Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank.

  • He is also founder of the United Movement fro Democratic Change party founded in 2014.[2]

Expulsion from the MDC-T[edit]

In april 2014, Biti was expelled from MDC-T following an attempt to oust party leader Morgan Tsvangirai in an apparent ‘coup.’ Biti’s group, called the Renewal Team had met at Mandel Training Centre in Harare on 26 April 2016 and had resolved to suspend Tsvangirai and six top officials for alleged fascist tendencies and failing to oust Zanu-PF leader President Robert Mugabe in the 2013 harmonised elections. However, at a meeting of the national council held at Harvest House, the party headquarters on 29 April, the MDC-T council members voted to expel Biti. 162 out of 167 members in attendance voted in favour of the motion to expel Biti in terms of article 2 of their party constitution.

The renewal team group included the MPs Willas Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo, KweKwe), Solomon Madzore (Dzivarasweka) and Paul Madzore (Glen View South). Them and Biti were subsequently expelled from parliament the next year.

Expulsion from Parliament[edit]

In March 2015, Biti was expelled from parliament together with other 20 MPs who had defected from the MDC-T party after the formation of the UMDC. This was after Douglas Mwonzora Secretary General of the MDC-T had written to the speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda requesting a parliamentary recall since the 21 MPs were no longer part of the MDC-T party. The request was granted and his Harare East Constituency post was declared vacant effectively reducing the MDC-T seats in Parliament from 91 to 70. MDC-T boycotted the by-elections to replace the MPs.

Formation of People's Democratic Party[edit]

Biti and his renewal group initially formed what was called the MDC Renewal Team. The renewal team eventually formed an alliance with Welshman Ncube's MDC resulting in the party called United Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC).

In September 2015 however, Biti's group formed its own official party called People's Democratic Party with Biti himself as president and Kucaca Phulu as vice president.

Rejoining The MDC / Forming the MDC Alliance[edit]

In August 2017 Tendai Biti's People's Democratic Party came together with 6 other parties to form the MDC Alliance. Like the PDP, most of the parties had been splinter parties that broke from the MDC in earlier years. The August 2017 coalition was created by their perceived need of a united larger party to contest the July 2018 elections.

MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai died in February 2018 of cancer and the party's presidency was controversially assumed by one of the vice presidents, Nelson Chamisa. After the elections in 2018, the party decided to just refer to itself as the MDC.


Testimony Before the American Senate[edit]

In December 2017 he was part of the MDC alliance delegation that appeared before a United States Congressional Committee on Foreign Relations in USA to appraise Americans on the situation in Zimbabwe.

2018 Elections[edit]

Declaring MDC Alliance win at a presser[edit]

Tendai Biti claimed that the MDC Alliance has collated the election results and these results show that the MDC Alliance had won the harmonized elections. Biti said that the MDC Alliance was pushing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to formally announce the results instead of delaying like they were. However, Biti conceded that the MDC Alliance does not have 21 percent of the V11 forms which Zec illegally did not post at polling stations.

Hon. Biti adrresses the media


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Appeal by police[edit]

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba revealed that the police want MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti and MDC Youth leader Happymore Chidziva to come in for questioning.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police launched a manhunt for Biti and other opposition MDC Alliance senior officials accusing them of inciting their followers to violence. This came after the death of six civilians who were gunned by the military after opposition supporters demonstrated against alleged manipulation of results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec). Some of the charges Biti faced included, incitement to political violence and the illegal declaration of an election winner.

Arrest At Zambian Border Following 2018 Elections[edit]

Tendai Biti was arrested near the Zambian Border. Biti was reportedly seeking political asylum in Zambia. Biti’s lawyer Nqobizitha Mlilo confirmed the matter to the media. Mlilo only said :

He was arrested at the Zambian border

[3]

Seeking Asylum in Zambia[edit]

Tendai Biti was briefly arrested by Zimbabwean security personnel but was released after it had been realized that at the time of his arrest he was already on Zambian soil and the Zimbabwean security personnel had no jurisdiction to arrest him.Biti was released and proceeded to Lusaka where he wanted to seek asylum.

Deportation from Zambia[edit]

Zambia’s foreign minister, Joseph Malanji, said the reasons Biti gave for seeking asylum “did not have merit, so he was being held in safe custody and the government of Zambia was working on taking him back to Zimbabwe.[4]

Denying contravening Section 66A(1) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13[edit]

Appearing before Harare magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo yesterday, Tendai Biti denied that he ran away from charges of contravening Section 66A(1) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13, which prohibits the unofficial or false declaration of election results.

Biti said he ran away because of political persecution. He claimed that gunshots were fired at his brother when he was on his way to Bindura in the company of his minor children. Biti said on August 2, there was an attempt on his life by unidentified people driving unmarked vehicles. He also said he was improperly before the court and should be in a Zambian court. Said Biti:

I then concluded that my life and that of my family was in danger hence I decided to flee. I was unlawfully returned to Zimbabwe despite the fact that my life was in danger. No court in Zimbabwe has jurisdiction over me, I should be in a Zambian court since an order was passed by a Lusaka judge. In light of these violations of international laws, Zimbabwe, and Zambian domestic laws, my deportation is a nullity and anything that follows is a nullity

[5]

Mothlante Commission[edit]

Tendai Biti testified before The Motlanthe Commission where he objected to and questioned the integrity of panelists like Charity Manyeruke. Biti stated that he was giving testimony under protest.

Election to MDC Vice Presidency - 2019[edit]

At the first MDC Congress in May 2019 since the merger of the different groups, Welshman Ncube was elected the one of the party's 3 vice presidents. The others being Welshman Ncube and Lynette Karenyi.

References[edit]

  1. Tendai Biti Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Retrieved: June 30, 2014
  2. Tendai Biti MP Whoswho Southern Africa
  3. Tendai Biti Arrested At Zambian Border ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, published: 08 Aug 2018, retrieved: 8 Aug 2018
  4. Senior Zimbabwe opposition figure Tendai Biti 'released after arrest at border' , The Telegraph, retrieved: 9 Aug 2018
  5. Biti Reveals Attempts To Assassinate Him, Says He Is Improperly Before The Court ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, retrieved: 12 Aug 2018