By Lynette Manzini
Harare, November 27, 2016 – PDP president, Tendai Biti says the formation of the so-called National Transition Authority (NTA) was the best way Zimbabwe could move into a new political dispensation without losing lives.
Successive elections in the country have seen the eruption of violence leading to mostly opposition supporters maimed, loosing property or even killed.
Fear is now a strong factor associated with Zimbabwean polls.
Opponents of the ruling Zanu PF party have since coalesced under the multi-party National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA), a platform to demand poll reforms ahead of the 2018 general elections.
Biti insists this was not enough to bring a sea change to the country’s political direction.
Although parties such has MDC-T and Joice Mujuru’s ZimPF have not bought into the idea of an NTA, parties such as Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn and Welshman Ncube’s MDC, among others, are on board.
“We are paving a way of how to peaceful take the baton from Mugabe because the challenge is that there is no generation in Africa that hands the baton to another generation, it requires war,” Biti said during a PDP policy conference held in Harare weekend.
The former Finance Minister said the country was best presiding over a peaceful and orderly transition of “responsibility” as opposed to power from one generation to another.
“Every drop blood that will be shed in this country from today as a cause of change is a drop to much,” Biti said.
“We don’t want war; we don’t want another Gukurahundi where 30 000 people were killed by (Vice President Emmerson) Mnangagwa and others. We don’t want another 2008 were we lost hundreds of comrades. We don’t want another Itai Dzamara to disappear,” Biti said.
PDP continues with a poll boycott stance that has seen them stay away from successive by-elections called by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Biti conceded it was a tall order to convince the Zanu PF led administration to give up some of its authority to a transitional arrangement.
He said their call for an NTA should not be misconstrued as meaning they feared elections.
“Everybody knows it’s a waste of time to participate in the 2018 elections so we require fundamental change through the NTA first then only can we talk about the elections,’ he said.
Biti added that the party will be working with other oppositions including the ones they do not get along with.
“We have taken a decision to work with CODE (Coalition Of Democrats) members,” he said.
“We will work with them because we genuinely believe in the importance of unity but this does not mean we are going to lose our identity.
“I want to underline that we will work with others with like-minded mindsets but I also want to warn you that we are also going to work with those that we don’t like,” Biti said.