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Tendai Biti: Great to Witness Democratic Process At DNC Convention


Tendai Biti seen after the Constitutional Court ruling in Harare. (Photo: Mavis Gama)

Tendai Biti seen after the Constitutional Court ruling in Harare. (Photo: Mavis Gama)

The leader of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Tendai Biti, says he is happy to witness democracy at work at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, USA.

In an interview, Biti, who is attending the convention said, “It’s very humbling to be here … I think the key issue here is that democracy is a painful thing and in Africa we haven’t found it. In yesterday’s meeting there were two opposing groups those that support Bernie Saunders and those that support Hillary Clinton … They were able to clap hands together and sometimes boo each other but at the end of the day it was quite clear, particularly from the statement and speech from Bernie Sanders, that the Democratic Party will stand behind Hillary Clinton.

“In Africa that process would have seen, and certainly in Zimbabwe, the death of individuals, the destruction of homes (and) the destruction of villages.”

Biti said fear normally grips delegates attending some party meetings designed to nominate candidates for presidential elections.

“With the likes of (President) Robert Mugabe, Zanu PF and his terrible wife (Grace Mugabe) there is no room for discussion like this at home there. Right now as I am talking to you the regime is finding and looking for means of keeping the opposition (leaders) inside jail.

“(Pro-democracy activist) Linda Masarira right now has just been denied bail. So, it’s predatory politics, it’s rogue politics and we have got a long way to go before we can understand that it’s a democratic right to be different and that in diversity there is strength.”

U.S. Democrats are ready to officially proclaim former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as their 2016 presidential nominee, making her the first U.S. woman ever to become a major party standard bearer in the race for the White House.

In the time-honored tradition of U.S. presidential nominating conventions, state delegations, one after another at the party's quadrennial gathering in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will cast a majority of votes for Clinton, a fixture on the American political scene for a generation.

Her challenger through months of campaigning, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, is calling for his supporters to vote for him, but acknowledges he won't overtake her. He gave a rousing convention speech yesterday night endorsing Clinton.

At the same time, United States First Lady Michelle Obama expressed confidence in Hillary Clinton.

For perspective on the on-going Democratic convention, Studio 7 reached VOA’s Harun Maruf of the Somali Service.

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