Grace Mugabe’s entrance into politics ‘a disaster’

2014-10-29 08:27

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Former Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti has likened the succession battle raging in the ruling Zanu-PF to a civil war and a humourless soap opera.

Speaking in Johannesburg last night, Biti said Zimbabwe was at its lowest point ever and he called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene in Zimbabwe like it had done seven years ago.

He said: “There is an acerbic civil war in Zanu-PF. It is like a soap opera, but one that is humourless. It is unbelievable.”

In response to a question on what he thought about Grace Mugabe’s entrance into politics, Biti said it was a disaster.

Grace Mugabe is the wife of the incumbent president Robert Mugabe, and she is appearing to position herself to take over from him – with his approval.

“Number one, you are basically saying that dynastic politics is the answer to Zimbabwe, and you see, Africa is very much seduced by dynastic politics,” he said.

“The entrance of Grace is a very dangerous issue in Zimbabwe. They have given her a PhD, which is a great insult to some of us who went to the University of Zimbabwe. At least we thought they can touch anything else, but no the purity of our academic qualifications.

“So it is very unstable state at present. In Africa, whenever you get the situation of a very weak ruling party, which it is, weak governance, which it is, a weak economy, a very divided society – there is no social contract – the seduction to non-constitutional means of succession, things like political conflict, things like military coups increase. That’s the biggest challenge we have.

“The opposition is weak and divided as you know. So in the history of our country, I don’t think we have ever been at such a weak point as we are, which is why some of us have been calling for SADC to once again come and impose some curatorship,” he said.

Biti, who has gone back to being a lawyer after losing his ministerial position after last year’s elections, won outright by Zanu-PF, is involved in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change renewal effort.

He spoke at the launch of Good Governance Africa’s 2014 Africa Survey report at the Gordon Institute of Business Sciences, and also recalled times of hyper-inflation in Zimbabwe, where the price of bread would go up three times in the time that it took to queue to buy a loaf.

He said, however, those times were still better than the stagnation and the deflation the economy was currently experiencing.

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