Bennett slams the 'intellect from hell'
MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett, in self-imposed exile in the UK, has attacked President Robert Mugabe, describing him as ruthless, with an "intellect from hell".
He said Mugabe manipulated history, race, ethnicity and grievances like land and indigenisation to cling to power through violence.
Bennett, who was jailed a few years ago for pushing Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to the floor, says a "criminal syndicate" loyal to Mugabe is looting Zimbabwe's finances and resources, while using brutality to hang onto power.
"This syndicate is laying waste to what remains of the nation's body and soul," Bennett said in an address, titled Smoke and Mirrors: Another look at politics and ethnicity in Zimbabwe, delivered at Rhodes House, Oxford this week.
He said Mugabe was cruel from day one in office, as shown by his crackdown on the Ndebeles, who opposed his rule during the 1980s.
After that, Bennett said, Mugabe shifted his campaign to root out whites from commercial farms. Now he is targeting anyone opposing his rule, the former MP said.
"Mugabe and his lieutenants have deliberately, cynically and strategically acquired and defended power," Bennett said.
"Zanu-PF has been cunning and calculating .
"I respect Mugabe for very little, but as an intellect from hell he is outstanding.
"We are not just breeding and importing disease and destruction, we are exporting it as well. Most strikingly, the Zimbabwean cancer is spreading to South Africa.
"Bottom-feeders from South Africa, many of them outwardly respectable companies, have trampled on ethics ... in the stampede for the Zimbabwean carcass.
"Arrogant and hard-hearted, they have shown no hesitation in standing on the heads of the Zimbabwean poor as they cavort with the Zimbabwean rich. They believe they are untouchable."
He said South African businessmen and companies did not realise they would import the Zimbabwean virus and unleash mayhem in their own country.
"They are bringing with them the people and practices that will annihilate the very foundations upon which their comfortable lives are based. South Africa is ripe for the Zanu-PF variety of national liberation," Bennett said.