Biti joins top United States think-tank…nets 9 -month Brookings Institute Fellowship

  • Biti was also given a fellowship at the Brookings Institute in Washington DC where he will be for about 9 months.

FORMER Finance minister and MDC Renewal leader Tendai Biti has joined the Center for Global Development (CGD) in the United States as a visiting fellow for an unspecified period, the centre’s website announced.

CGD is an independent think-tank that works to reduce global poverty and inequality.

Its scholars write policy views which are grounded in evidence-based research and analysis that is subject to peer review.

Biti quietly slipped out of the country last week, raising speculation that he had decided to relocate to the US following a dip in his political fortunes after he was recently expelled from Parliament alongside 20 others legislators from his camp.

“Biti is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. While at CGD, he will be working on issues around fragile states, debt management, re-engagement with the international financial institutions and economic recovery,” CGD said on its website.

The Centre credits Biti for helping stabilise Zimbabwe’s economy when he led the Finance portfolio during the tenure of the inclusive government.
“Biti served as the Minister of Finance of Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2013, a period which saw him turn around an economy that had been ravaged by hyper-inflation of 500 billion percent and an unemployment rate up to 85%,” it added.

Visiting fellows generally stay at institutions for between three months and one year depending on the nature of the fellowship and length of study.

However this publications also has it on good authority that  Biti was also given a fellowship at the Brookings Institute in Washington DC where he will be for about 9 months.

Biti’s travel to the US means he will miss his party’s Constitutional Court challenge against its legislators’ expulsion from Parliament.

The 21 MDC Renewal Team legislators were recalled from Parliament following a request by their parent party, MDC-T.
MDC Renewal Team spokesman Jacob Mafume yesterday said Biti would be not seek permanent stay in the US.
“He will be flying in and out of Zimbabwe and it should be borne in mind that this trip was arranged to coincide with the parliamentary vacation in the month of April,” Mafume said.

He added: “Biti is not running away and is determined to remain in Zimbabwe and at the helm of Renewal despite what his detractors are saying.”