US mourns ejection of imperial mercenary from parliament

by | Mar 23, 2021 | Politics | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

Tendai Biti, a Zimbabwean lawyer and former Member of the ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe for Harare East, was recently recalled by his sponsoring party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when he crossed the floor in May 2020 to become a senior member of the MDC Alliance.He was recalled together with other five members of his party who also defied the party by pledging their allegiance to another party.
There is an interesting level of attention given to events by the American establishment each time Biti is in trouble with the law locally.

When he was arrested in late 2018 for violating the country’s laws by unilaterally declaring election results and subsequently inciting the deadly August 1, 2018, violent demonstrations, the US administration, through its Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Mathew Harrington, cried out loudly for his release without charge.
“It (government of Zimbabwe) should drop charges against former Finance Minister and prominent opposition figure Tendai Biti and all those who have been arbitrarily detained for exercising their rights and fundamental freedoms”, said Harrington on December 6, 2018.
Senator Jeff Flake, as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations sub-committee on Africa, congratulated Senator Harrington for recognising and sounding concern over Tendai Biti’s incarceration then.
“Tendai Biti is a friend of this committee and he has been here a number of times, and I was pleased that you had that on the list of things they ( Zimbabwean government) could do ( the dropping of charges against Biti).”
This level of meddling in affairs of a sovereign State is not tolerable. It is telling of the level of interest the US has in Zimbabwe and the level of importance attached to Tendai Biti for the attainment of such imperial goals.
It is unprecedented for such a high office in the US government to jolt into action to defend a mere individual in Africa against lawful detention.
However, it is his latest recall from Parliament that has shaken the US establishment to the core.
Tendai Biti is just but one of the numerous others who have been arrested before, albeit with no consequence from the highest offices of the US government.
Likewise, he is just but one of the numerous other Members of Parliament who have been recalled by their various political parties in the current life of the Zimbabwean Parliament albeit without a reaction or mention by the powers that be.
But amongst them, all only Tendai Biti’s expulsion is worth defending once again by one of the highest offices of the US government, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
The question of why only Tendai Biti warrants such high-level attention by the US government comes to mind.
It is now all too clear that Tendai Biti stands out as the outpost of imperial dominion over the nation of Zimbabwe and many others in Africa who look up to Zimbabwe for leadership.
In the US scheme of things, Biti is indispensable and he should be left alone to operate without boundaries, unhindered even by lawful red tape.

Brief background information
Tendai Biti entered the current Parliament as an Alliance partner, himself representing a splinter party called People’s Democratic Party(PDP).
After elections in 2018, Nelson Chamisa decided to form a party under the name MDC Alliance as a way to run away from obvious results of a contested leadership of MDC-T which was duly awarded to Thokozani Khupe by way of a Supreme Court ruling of March 2020.
Mr. Tendai Biti blindly joined Nelson Chamisa’s newly formed MDC Alliance party without paying due attention to repercussions.
But the electoral laws of Zimbabwe do not allow floor-crossing, thus Tendai Biti was only living on borrowed time.
A recall was forever imminent since the day he accepted the Vice President’s post in MDC Alliance.
So, what is the fuss with the US government about Tendai Biti?
The United States government has taken a special interest in the safety of Tendai Biti since the formation of the MDC party in 1998.
But it was only around 2001 that this special interest transformed into a special relationship between Tendai Biti and the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Tendai Biti ceased to be a common opposition figure in Zimbabwe but he transformed himself into a partner to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, particularly because he co-authored the ZIDERA sanctions bill, together with David Coltart, which the Foreign Relations Committee gleefully adopted as an imperial foreign policy tool meant to entrench US interests, not on Zimbabwe alone, but on Africa at large.
ZIDERA has since become a model of what can happen to a nation that refuses to toe the imperial line, of surrendering sovereignty over national natural endowments such as Agricultural land and minerals.
As such Tendai Biti becomes a darling to the committee and a protected species to the United States of America.
US sanctions had and still have far-reaching effects across Africa as they have created the necessary gulf which acts as a fireguard to isolate the land reform and resource nationalism fire from spreading across Africa.
And, ominously so, Tendai Biti became the Superintendent and enforcer of that Sanctions bill in Zimbabwe, and the Parliament of Zimbabwe became the arena for his nefarious enforcement activities.

US Outcry

On Monday 22 March 2021, Senator Jim Risch, as Chair of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee sounded a distress call against the expulsion of Tendai Biti from Parliament by the PDP party.
And as always, he blamed President Emmerson Mnangagwa for ” dismantling the opposition” and subverting the will of the people by engineering recalls of MDC Alliance lawmakers.
Interesting interest by a superpower over political affairs of a sovereign Southern African country.
Nearly thirty other lawmakers have been recalled from Parliament since the Supreme Court judgement of March 2020, but alas, the US government was only awakened by the recall of Tendai Biti. Strange isn’t it?
In other words, even if Biti was to remain by himself in Parliament, after everyone else had been recalled or expelled, the US government would still be happy, for as long as their man was in and running with the script, right?
What boggles the mind is how President Mnangagwa only becomes complicit in the expulsion of Tendai by token of the same Supreme Court ruling of March 2020 that has seen a recall of 30 other MPs without incident.
So in the American scheme of things President Mnangagwa was supposed to intervene, violate the Supreme Court judgment for once, only to protect Tendai Biti? No ways! Tendai Biti is not above the law
Yes, so it seems.
The US is only interested in the protection and perpetuation of their Foreign Policy objectives through the institution of Parliament where Tendai Biti would be the enforcer.
Tendai Biti was an American plant in the Zimbabwean governance system through the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, through which he would smuggle the American agenda items after a midnight briefing at the Westgate complex of the US Embassy.

Tendai Biti was planted and employed in Parliament to play a disruptive role, for espionage and agenda-setting for the United States government. He was recipient of direct instructions from the CIA to make sure that the Zimbabwe Parliament remains dysfunctional for as long as is possible to scupper any development agenda.

The whole life of Parliament would be reduced to chasing shadows, witch hunting, and vicious cycles of anti-development narratives.

This brings us to the subject of the Political economy of the MDC Alliance. Who pays the bills in the party and who defines the ideology.
It is true that the man who pays the piper plays the tune.

It turns out that the most important person to the US in Zimbabwean, if not African opposition politics is Tendai Biti.
Nelson Chamisa is just a stooge and beneficiary of Biti’s benevolence. Tendai Biti carries the purse and he becomes the diplomatic face of opposition parties in Zimbabwe by virtue of his acceptability to the Foreign Policymakers.
Today the US, ironically, mourns louder and longer than the bereaved.
It makes sense given the investment they have ploughed in to date, for a failed cause.
Let us see if the recall of Biti is going to cause a war or an escalation of sanctions on Zimbabwe. Either way, they can kick and scream all the way to town and back, but Tendai Biti will not receive preferential treatment. He is not above the law.
Of course, one thing to watch out for is the escalation of provocation against the government. He is truly a dangerous citizen as a known merchant of violence and confrontation.
It surely is going to be a tough season for United States Foreign Relations policy on Zimbabwe.