New Zimbabwe (London)

6 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Biti Health - Mangoma Refuses to Be Drawn

FORMER energy minister and key MDC Renewal Team figure, Elton Mangoma has professed ignorance over secretary general, Tendai Biti's alleged health problems.

Mangoma was asked about the former finance minister's health while addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club on Saturday.

"After the bombing at Honourable Biti residency, his health has deteriorated drastically. What is it that is affecting Biti?, asked the scribe.

In response, Mangoma said: "Biti has not shared with me his medical history. In any case my profession is far away from that of a medical doctor. I am a chartered accountant by profession."

Biti, who upon his appointment as Zimbabwe's finance minister during the formation of the inclusive government in 2009, described his job as the "worst in the world" and told a civic society briefing in 2012 that he had lost touch with life.

"Zimbabwe is the lowest on the happiness index, some of us, you can look at me, I have lost weight because every day I have war veterans, civil servants and Robert Mugabe and all kinds of nonsense that impinge on my right in pursuit of happiness," said Biti at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Mangoma said the Renewal Team would not hurry to form a new political party until the group holds its inaugural congress in March next year.

"For now we have not changed our name; we are the genuine MDC. The issue of whether we should continue using the name MDC or not will only be decided by congress which we hope to hold in March next year," said Mangoma.

The former Makoni North legislator said that his party has already agreed in principal with Zapu, Mavambo, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the Welshman Ncube led MDC to form a grand coalition to unseat Zanu (PF).

He insisted that the MDC-T and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai will not be part of coalition.

"Tsvangirai cannot be part of us because he had become part of the problem. We want to kill the big man syndrome and go back to the values and ethos of the original MDC. We do not want a situation where individuals become bigger that institutions."

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