New Zimbabwe (London)

11 April 2014

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Rebels Speak On Expulsions

Photo: Trevor Davies/IPS
MDC-T youths

EXPELLED MDC-T deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma and his backers have dismissed their expulsion from the opposition party, further accussing party leader Morgan Tsvangirai of "mimicking" Zanu PF's undemocratic tendencies.

The so-called MDC Renewal team or MDC Team ceased to be members of the beleaguered party on Thursday following a National Council decision to summarily expel them for gross indiscipline.

The sacked nucleus team of party dissenters include MDC-T youth assembly secretary general Promise Mkhwananzi, national executive council member Last Maengehama and Jacob Mafume, who is also lawyer to Mangoma.

Mangoma was in March this year suspended for defying the party's directives to stop pushing his unpopular leadership renewal agenda through the media.

He was dismissed before he could even defend himself before a party constituted disciplinary tribunal.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the decision to sack the firebrand politician and his backers was arrived at after the former Energy Minister had shown no sign of repentance, even going further to address parallel rallies within party structures.

But Mangoma and his team came back Friday to dismiss their expulsion as a "nullity" as they were allegedly done unconstitutionally by a "kangaroo national council".

"We will remain in the party and continue with our duties as prescribed by the party at the last congress," said Mafume, spokesperson for the renewal team.

"The MDC is not found at Harvest House. It is in the villages and we shall continue to engage with the people."

He added, "We are not splitting the party. We are just demanding that we return to the democratic values which we are prepared to die for."

Mkhwananzi was defiant.

"I am prepared to die for the principles of the party, the founding principles of democratisation of the party," he said.

Maengehama, who spent over two years in remand prison on allegations of murdering a police officer 2011, was up in arms with the expulsion.

"It is painful for me to be treated like this after l have suffered in the hands of Zanu PF and Mugabe," he said, "It is painful that I am now suffering at the hands of Tsvangirai and Chamisa (Nelson) who don't practise democracy which they preach."

In a statement delivered during the press briefing, Mafume accused Tsvangirai of leading the "serious 'Zanufication' of party processes" where party dissenters were allegedly being expelled without due process.

He also accused Tsvangirai of barring "a significant" number of other MDC National Council members from the Thursday meeting which recommended their dismissal.

"Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai continues to undermine the National Executive which met yesterday before the Kangaroo National Council and recommended that a disciplinary committee be constituted to deal with the issues of Mr. Mafume, Mr Mkwananzi and Mr. Maengehama," said the former student activist.

"Regrettably, as was the case in the unconstitutional suspension of Deputy Treasurer Mangoma, Mr Tsvangirai defied the National Executive's decision and went ahead with his plan to convene a Kangaroo National Council whose agenda was to rubber stamp his predetermined outcome.

Mafume accused Tsvangirai of applying the law selectively while using violence to purge those opposed to his continued leadership and "authoritarian grip on power".

He said Tsvangirai was being manipulated by party hawks fighting to eliminate potential competitors ahead of the party's elective congress.

"Despite the shenanigans that are taking place in the MDC leadership, the MDC Team will not be deterred by such unilateral and unlawful decisions. If anything, it has strengthened our resolve in intensifying our renewal drive to achieve a better Zimbabwe for all.

"The MDC Team will continue to consult with the majority of MDC members who are calling for renewal in the party and are against all the undemocratic actions made by Tsvangirai.

"Our message to MDC members, party structures and the people of Zimbabwe is that we are aware of the suffering that you are going through due to a collapsing national economy as a result of a crisis of legitimacy following the July 31 grand electoral theft by Zanu PF.

"Our road map is very clear as is it to move Zimbabwe forward as a coalition of winners and progressive Zimbabweans that transcends gender, race, age, class, ethnic background and old political allegiances."

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