By Nkosana Dlamini
MDC Alliance co-principal Tendai Biti has poked fun at former ally Elton Mangoma and a handful of other “non-presidential material” who have formally joined the race for state presidency in the July 30 elections.
An unprecedented 23 candidates Thursday filed to contest for the country’s top job with most of them virtually unknown among locals.
These include Chimurenga musician Bryn Muteki who does not have any traceable political history, William Mugadza (Bethel Christian Party), Evaristo Chikanga (Rebuild Zimbabwe) among a handful of them.
Opinion polls suggest President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa hold the most realistic chance of winning Zimbabwe’s first ever poll following the fall of founding leader Robert Mugabe November last year.
Reacting to the surprise developments on the country’s political front, Biti blamed the high number of presidential election entrants to what he said was the emergence of a very weak incumbent in President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Part of the problem is that standards have been lowered and this person (Mnangagwa) has been so poor. Everybody knows they can do better,” said the former Finance Minister, who denied attempts to undermine democracy which he has spent a great part of his adult life fighting for.
Biti added, “We need a PHD study on how dislocated and disjunctured our society is. That we can create so many candidates is a reflection of cognitive dissonance and also standards are so low; that a man can sit with his wife and she says ‘baba you are now President’.
“Look at my friend Elton Mangoma. He is not presidential material. He can make a good MP.
“You can’t just wake up; because your wife has given you a good massage and then you say ‘I want to be President’.”
Mangoma, now CODE presidential candidate, was once a close ally to Biti when the two politicians masterminded the MDC-T split April 2014 but later went separate ways after they differed on strategy.
“We need to take our country seriously and to be fair, I don’t consider Emmerson Mnangagwa to be Presidential material too,” Biti said.
“He is a killer. This country cannot be run by somebody with blood on his hands. He is the butcher of Esigodini.”
Biti said Chamisa remained among less than 5 presidential hopefuls who have joined the race for the country’s most powerful job.
He said Muteki did not even qualify to be a councillor.