Biti under attack
HARARE – Several top MDC officials have pleaded with Finance Minister Tendai Biti not to resign from his post in the wake of several attempts on his life by over-zealous Zanu (PF) functionaries. Biti threatened to resign from the GNU after a bomb went off at his Chisipite home over the weekend, putting his family in danger. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is understood to have told Biti that it was not the right time to throw in the towel, according to a well-placed source in the MDC president’s office. As a founding member of the MDC, Biti has displayed tremendous courage over the years in the face of vicious Zanu (PF) attacks, which included gruesome torture at the hands of state agents at Goromonzi death camp, random searches at his home and trumped-up treason charges.
Biti (46) believes the military wants to assassinate him, and says the bombing must be taken “seriously”. He wants to hang up his gloves and return to private legal practice, but he has been so outstanding that the MDC desperately wants him to stay at his post in the GNU and see through the many financial reforms he initiated.
The Finance Minister, who has spent the past two years reversing a decade of economic meltdown blamed on President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF), says there is no doubt in his mind that the people who carried out the attack wanted to harm his family. “The MDC does not take this attack lightly, given that there have been increasing criticism and verbal attacks on Biti lately,” the party said in a statement.
Last week Mugabe and the service chiefs reportedly issued an ultimatum to Biti, demanding that he review civil servants’ salaries, saying the issue had become a threat to national security. “The ultimatum comes at a time when Mugabe has launched a personal attack on Biti, blaming him for all the financial problems facing the country,” said the MDC.