BITI WARNS OF VIOLENT ELECTIONS AND MORE COUP
Opposition leader President Tendai Biti has predicted a violent 2018 election and further warned the November 2017 “coup” against then President Robert Mugabe was certain to recur as the military has tested power.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader was speaking during a panel discussion at SAPES Trust in Harare Thursday evening when he vowed that the opposition would put up a strong fight to resist military intrusion into the country’s polls.
The discussion on elections transparency was organised by SAPES in collaboration with the Information for Development Trust (IDT), a local NGO focusing on investigative journalism around corruption.
In his remarks, Biti said the high stakes elections set for mid this year were certain to turn violent as the military-backed Zanu PF government fights to retain state authority.
“The issue of violence is going to be a factor in this election. They did not plan this coup in order to lose power in July or August 2018,” Biti said while referring to the military seizure of power which dislodged Mugabe.
“They (military) have been marrying designer wives; they have been sending themselves to school. There are now more per capita PhDs at the army than anywhere else.
“And they were not getting those PhDs in order to get a job at Econet or Delta Corporations. They were getting those degrees in order to lay their hands on the State. So, this is going to be a fight of our lives.”
Biti added, “I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is going to be a violent election”.
The former finance minister described the current administration as a junta, insisting it would be folly if the opposition did not raise a hue and cry about the “coup” which propelled Mnangagwa to power.
The PDP leader said an opposition defeat in 2018 will see the military consolidate its stranglehold on power.
Biti, whose party has signed up to the MDC Alliance, warned the country risked future coup episodes if locals failed to confront the military over its overbearing influence on civilian affairs.
“There is nothing that will stop the tanks from moving again no matter who has been elected in July 2018.
“So. it’s critical that we find an answer to making sure that the barrack remains sealed off from interfering with the process because that’s the elephant in the living room.”