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Exiled Zimbabwe Politician Bennett Urges Push for More Reforms

Roy Bennett, the exiled treasurer general of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC formation says democratic forces in the country should continue pushing for reforms to ensure the next elections are free and fair enough to produce a government that will be able to restore Zimbabwe’s former glory.

In an interview with VOA, Bennett describes President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party as "a dead party led by old men bickering like old women," adding the dissolution of its district co-ordinating committees last week is a symptom of "a terminal disease."

“The only glue holding this dead horse together is the love of money and violence. In any free and fair election," Bennet said, "they will be blown to the wind. That is why Mugabe's apparent desperation for an election is a sick joke."

“We did not begin the struggle to stroke the hand that kills. No more GNU - a miserable and malnourished mongrel fathered by an illegitimate and diseased village dog. Zanu PF, get out of our way. Let's finish it now."

Attacking the government of national unity, Bennett said he feared the party is working hard to ensure there's another power-sharing arrangement after the next vote, to ensure it remains in charge, and getting legitimacy from the MDC formations.

“The MDC is propping Zanu PF,” he added. “Zanu PF continues holding on to power using the military junta and controlling absolutely everything, and the MDC is giving them the playing field to continue looting and to continue moving diamond revenue outside the country.”

On the controversial subject of black empowerment, Bennett said his party believes in broad-based economic empowerment, but not the program currently being implemented by Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

He also told the VOA the founding values of the MDC were being eroded, adding the party should not commit itself to another governing coalition with Zanu PF, should there be need, or necessity.

But the treasurer general’s statements are in sharp contrast to recent comments by his party’s secretary general and Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

Biti is quoted in the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper singing praises of Mr. Mugabe's leadership. He described the president as seductive, calm, unflappable and a fountain of stability. Bennett, in self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom, does not agree.

The self-exiled politician said his party now needs to fight hard for reforms that will bring about free and fair elections instead of propping up Zanu PF in an inclusive government that has now outlived its usefulness.

“It’s fine to have the U.S. dollars and shops full of food, but the people on the ground don’t have the money to buy the stuff and when the people on the ground are battling," said Bennett. "So we need to bring absolute and complete change and empower the people.”