Ex-Finance Minister Biti’s house petrol-bombed

Picture from the last time Biti's house was fire-bombed in 2011

Picture from the last time Biti’s house was fire-bombed in 2011

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
25 February 2014

Ex-Finance Minister and senior MDC-T official Tendai Biti’s house was petrol bombed by unknown assailants in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Biti was at the house during the attack, together with at least 9 family members who were all asleep. Borrowdale police are said to be investigating.

“I have no problem with someone petrol-bombing my car or myself but to target my family is unfair,” the former minister told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday.

This is second time that arsonists have thrown a bomb at Biti’s house, following another similar attack in 2011.

In the latest incident the explosive device, made from a beer bottle, damaged the perimeter wall and part of the electric fence. A security guard at the property discovered the damage.

Biti admitted that the attack had shaken him, but added: “I am feeling low but I will not allow myself to be broken but will look the beast in the face and carry on with the struggle for democracy.”

The senior politician was recently attacked by MDC-T youths amid serious infighting and a simmering leadership debate within the Tsvangirai-led party.

Biti however downplayed the link between the two incidents of violence directed at him.

“As a lawyer I will not rush to make accusations. But from what I gather the police do have some evidence to help them in their investigations, and I hope the culprits will be arrested soon.”

He said he had discussed the issue of violence with Tsvangirai, with both agreeing “on the need to normalise the situation in the party so that opponents of our struggle don’t take advantage”.

The MDC-T has unsuccessfully tried to distance itself from the thugs that attacked senior officials Biti, Elton Mangoma and Promise Mkwananzi, on February 15th  accusing them of trying to oust Tsvangirai.

Political commentator Ndaba Nhuku said the MDC-T had made itself vulnerable by failing to stem the intra-party violence and this has given ZANU PF enough ammunition to go after them.

“I will not be shocked if the insinuation by the state media, linking Biti to the National Social Security Association (NSSA) scandal, is part of ZANU PF’s plan to use the infighting and destroy the MDC-T leadership,” Nhuku said.

The Herald newspaper said Tuesday that the ex-Finance Minister “allegedly abused his position to direct NSSA to sink $20 million into troubled Capital Bank (then Renaissance Merchant Bank) despite indications that the project was not viable.”

The newspaper based its claims on a presentation made by NSSA general manager James Matiza before a panel of parliamentarians on Monday.

According to the report, Matiza said they had turned away two attempts by the bank to get the authority to invest but finally did so after Biti directed them to.

However, former board chairman Innocent Chagonda told the same paper that Biti’s letter did not influence the $30 million investment decision that the authority made.

“We did not go into Renaissance Merchant Bank pursuant to that letter. We went there after we were satisfied that it was a viable project after we received a presentation from (Mr) Regis Saruchera, the curator,” Chagonda told the Herald.

Biti denies exerting any influence, saying the authority invested in Renaissance because this meant they would gain access to lucrative shares in one of the country’s biggest property developers Afre (now First Mutual Life).

“That story is malicious, stupid, and wrongful and I am taking legal action against the Herald newspaper and the NSSA general manager (Matiza) for defamation, Biti told SW Radio Africa Tuesday.

6 Responsesto “Ex-Finance Minister Biti’s house petrol-bombed”

  1. dumbu says:

    Nhubu dzeZANU(PF) hamudzizivisuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Makadii sekuru? Saka mapepa nhau anonyepa nhai sekuru? Tainzwa kuti makasungwa muripamusangano we MDC-T pamusana pekutaura zvemahumbwe sekuru.
      Munotaura kuti nhubu dze ZANU PF ivovana Biti na Mangoma vakazvambadzwa nenhubu dze MDC-T sekuru. Hamusvodi here kutaura zvemadodi sekuru? Mavakuda kudzokera kujeri futi sekuru.
      Nhubu dze MDC-T kusanganisa Morgan Tsvangirai dzinofanirwa kusungwa dziende kunotongwa nemagweta kana vawanikwa paine mhoswa vongoendeswa kunedzimbwe nhubu ku Chikurubi Maximum Prison sekuru. Ok sekuru?

      • dumbu says:

        Kana uriwe wakasungwa taura . Ini ndiri munhu akazvimiririra kwete iwe unopakwa nezvimbwasungata izvi. avo vaunotaura vakarangwa kwete zvekuuraya zvinoita ZANU(PF).

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          Ko madii kuchiurayiwa zvenyu ne ZANU PF sekuru zvamusina basa? Mukaurayiwa tose tinopururudza sekuru nekuti muri nhubu sekuru. Vanhu kwavo ndivo vofa imi muchisara, kweteba sekuru. Ifai sekuru hazvina basa. Ambuya tinogara nhaka sekuru.

  2. Yepec says:

    It has been said that “birds of the same feathers flock together”. Mugabe on more than one occasion would rather confided in Tswangirai than in his Zanu PF comrades in arms and they used to look forward to the Monday meetings in order to drink tea plus eating pancakes together like the two remaining, English Aristocrats of Southern Africa. Who can then be surprised by such acts of Tsvangirai copying his close friend’s ways of staying in power?

    Using physical beating in addition to being corrupt and then a little bit of intimidation by petrol bombing Biti’s home in order to stay in power cannot be far fetched from the truth. After Mangoma’s thorough beating, it was inevitable that Biti be reminded of the use of violence (petrol bombing of his residence), with impunity. Its escalation in order to stay in power, is but one of the methods that Tsvangirai is learning and can use by copying his friend’s deeds.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      You nearly got it right but you have spoilt an otherwise would have been your best article ever by involving Mugabe in the current saga bedevilling the MDC-T loyalists, Morgan Tsvangirai and his very very close associates. You are definitely on your way in coming to terms with reality and idea that Tsvangirai’s use of hopeless tactics to stay in power at all costs, have ruined and divided a party that once upon a time was a threat to Mugabe but is now like an empty tortoise shell.

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