Harare, February 25, 2014 – Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s home was petrol bombed early this morning with the MDC-T Secretary General and his family said to be inside. Members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) were at the scene investigating today.
In June 2011, less than 10 hours after confronting President Robert Mugabe in a cabinet meeting, over what he felt were his unwarranted attacks, unidentified men threw an explosive device at the durawall of Biti’s house in the Grange suburb of Harare.
Mugabe had used a rally attended by traditional chiefs to attack Biti claiming he was allocating himself presidential powers, cutting support to black farmers and also failing to help struggling businesses, particularly in Bulawayo.
The latest petrol bomb comes conveniently when tensions in the MDC-T are high over an alleged plot to oust party president Morgan Tsvangirai. Treasurer General Roy Bennett, his deputy Elton Mangoma and former Organising Secretary Elias Madzuri have led calls for Tsvangirai to step down.
Biti is thought to be the intended beneficiary of those pushing the leadership renewal agenda.
Two weeks ago violence broke out outside the MDC-T Harvest House headquarters as party supporters allegedly assaulted party Mangoma and other officials accused of seeking Tsvangirai’s ouster.
A police report by Mangoma has already led to the arrest MDC-T youth secretary for security and defence James Chidhakwa, who has been charged with the assault. Its also claimed police are now using the report to launch a manhunt for Tsvangirai loyalists.
Tsvangirai has already condemned the harassment of party leaders and recently publicly stated that the youth who “yanked” Mangoma’s shirt outside the party headquarters will “face the music”.