Tendai Laxton Biti
Minister of Finance and Secretary General of the Movement for Democratic Change-T
Date of Birth: 06/08/1966
Place of Birth: Dzivaresekwa
Ethnicity: Shona - Karanga
Career: Deputy Head Boy, Goromonzi High School; 1985; Secretary General, Students Union at University of Zimbabwe; 1988-89; Partner, Honey and Blackenberg, 1992-; Founding Member of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Secretary for Land, 1999; Member of Parliament, Harare East, 2000; re-elected MP for Harare East, 2005; Secretary-General MDC-T, 2005; re-elected MP for Harare East 2008; Arrested on treason charges, June 2008; Finance Minister, February 2009.
Commentary: Biti rose to prominence after handling high profile cases for the labour movement in the 1990s. He represented the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in a landmark case that saw the notorious Law and Order Maintenance Act, which did not allow demonstrations without police clearance, repealed. This brought him close to Morgan Tsvangirai who was then Secretary-General of the ZCTU.
After the MDC split in 2005 Biti become Secretary General of the party. He was the party’s chief negotiator and, effectively, Tsvangirai’s second in command. He has been Minister of Finance since 2009 and has been applauded for his competence.