MDC-Renewal team leader Tendia Biti has decried the grinding poverty in Matabeleland North saying 60% of the population in the province still use the bush system for toilets due to lack of development.
Speaking at the faction’s Matabeleland North provincial consultative meeting held at the Lupane Community Hall on Sunday, Biti said President Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship had destroyed the economy leaving the majority of Zimbabweans suffering.
Biti said for the 34 years that Zanu PF and Mugabe have been in power, Matabeleland North had not known any development and most people in the province remained very poor to the point of even failing to own a pit latrine in rural areas.
“For 34 years that Mugabe has ruled this country, 60% of people in Matabeleland North still use the bush as toilets,” he said.
“We are tired of 34 years of being misruled by a useless government. The renewal of leadership is a new chapter. We must start afresh; we have to restart Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe needs doctors to treat it from its ailments.”
Biti said it was sad that there was no difference between Mugabe and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is refusing to step down despite 15 years at the helm of the country’s biggest opposition party.
“There is no difference between Zanu PF and MDC-T as there is violence, corruption and internal squabbles within the two parties. We must know that changing leadership is an important thing. The issue of Tsvangiari refusing to step down is not different to that of Mugabe. You know that in Africa, people do not manage to run short distance relay but long distance where they take long to give each other batons.”
He said in countries like South Africa, there had been peaceful handing over of power on three occasions within 20 years of democracy while Mugabe remains the only leader Zimbabweans have ever known and Tsvangiari wanted to surpass the president at the helm of the MDC-T.
“In South Africa we had Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and now Jacob Zuma as president in 20 years, but here we still have Mugabe after 34 years,” said Biti.
“In Zambia, they had Kenneth Kaunda, Frederick Chiluba, Levy Mwanawasa, Rupiah Banda and now Michael Sata, yet here we still have Mugabe as head of State and Tsvangirai as the leader of MDC-T.”
The meeting was attended by most of the leaders of the renewal team, among them Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Reggie Moyo, Lucia Matibenga and Sengezo Tshabangu.