Tuesday, September 10, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Frustrated Bennett says 'stepping aside'
15/08/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

EXILED MDC-T treasurer, Roy Bennett, is taking a break from active involvement with the party to concentrate on his family, but slammed colleagues for grabbing what little pickings they can lay their hands on after last month’s election defeat. “It is time for me to step aside and wait and watch what develops,” the South Africa-based former lawmaker said in a statement.

“But for the true honest and decent Zimbabweans, when the Lord our God returns our country to us, I will be there as always to serve. I need to take some time to make a life for my traumatised family I need to put my efforts into something that can give me an income to sustain my family.”

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said Bennett had yet to officially communicate his intentions to the party.

“We have not yet received information to that effect,” Mwonzora said..

“He has not said that to us. As far as we are concerned, he remains our treasurer general. The procedure is if someone wants to resigns, he writes a letter to the secretary general. He has not done that so he has not resigned.”

Bennett urged mass action after the MDC-T was stunned by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party in the July 31 vote. Mugabe was re-elected President with 61% of the vote against 34% for MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Zanu PF also claimed a two thirds majority in Parliament, winning 160 seats against 49 for MDC-T which was even pegged back in its traditional urban strongholds.

The MDC-T rejected the outcome, accusing Mugabe and Zanu PF of carrying out a monumental fraud.

Bennett was one of the top party officials to demand mass action.

“I'm totally shocked at how badly they've rigged it and expect to get away with it," he told reporters from his Johannesburg base.

"It’s not a case of even rigging it. It's a case of having totally stolen it. Blatant, outright, daylight theft of the greatest proportions.

“There needs to be resistance against this theft and the people of Zimbabwe need to speak out strongly. I'm talking about passive resistance.

"I'm talking about people completely shutting the country down - don't pay any bills, don't attend work, just bring the country to a standstill.”

The party, however, opted to challenge the election in the country’s courts under pressure from the United Nations which called on its leaders to use "established channels".

Tsvangirai also moved to avert a potential split by allowing winning candidates to take up their seats in Parliament in a decision that appears to have frustrated Bennett even further.

Said Bennett in his statement: “Those who won seats are rushing into parliament for the small trappings of a twin cab and salary and what they can eat rather than stand with those that have been cheated and whose lives will become more and more difficult; who are honest good people just wanting a normal life, jobs, affordable living, social services, development, electricity, and clean accessible water - simple but necessary things.”

Bennett also claimed that he was largely ignored by his colleagues, who only remembered he existed when they “wanted something”.

“I have watched colleagues start with nothing and become wealthy, become arrogant become unapproachable embarrassed to speak out on anything to do with race or land. I sit forced into exile and never hear from any of my colleagues,” he said.

“I call them, they do not call back and the only time I ever hear from them is when they want something! This is the truth and I make no apologies.

“Now they have been defrauded and should stand on principle with the people and not participate in this shameful theft of our will. Those that lost seats are falling over each other to stand for Mayor of Harare, Ceremonial Mayor!

“I just wish things could have been different, what I do have left are my principles and integrity and friends, they are not trade-able under any circumstances.”

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