Friday, 18 April 2014

Mangoma kicked out

Mangoma kicked out
HARARE - In a move that analysts said last night could either end or heighten the strife within the MDC, the opposition party yesterday summarily expelled suspended deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, national executive members Jacob Mafume and Last Maengahama, as well as youth assembly secretary-general Promise Mkwananzi.

The four are part of the so-called renewal team within the MDC that has been agitating for the removal of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The stunning decision was reached at a National Council meeting held at the party’s headquarters in Harare where the quartet was accused of attempting to effect a coup d’├ętat, among other serious allegations.

“It was felt that after being charged initially, he (Mangoma) continued to transgress party policy and was thus suspended in terms of section 5.11 of our constitution,” Douglas Mwonzora, the party’s spokesperson told the Daily News last night.

“He was suspended together with Jacob Mafume, Last Maengahama and Promise Mkwananzi because it was felt that they had crossed the Rubicon.

“A total 131 members of the National Council voted for their expulsion and only one voted against it. The other three abstained,” he added.

Analysts whose opinions were canvassed by the Daily News last night were not surprised by the development, with one saying “this (expulsion) was a long time coming”.

“The reality is that the situation in the MDC had become untenable.

There was now an open rebellion such that something had to give, as it would have led to the complete break-up of the party if the leadership had not taken this evidently difficult decision.

“This, of course, does not mean that the problems are over, far from it. We should see, at least for the next few weeks, a lot of shouting by the expelled and other disaffected parties. But at the end of the day this (the expulsion) had to be done,” the analyst said.

In an earlier provocative move of their own, the expelled rebels addressed the media last weekend where they thoroughly rubbished Tsvangirai’s leadership of the party.

The latest development also follows the leaking of a damning MDC dossier this week that claims that Zanu PF is working with Mangoma and the rest of the rebels to unseat Tsvangirai and disrupt the effective functioning of the party.

Some Western embassies are also named in the report as having allegedly pooled together millions of dollars to help the coalition of MDC rebels in this unclear plot.

Both Mangoma and Zanu PF strenuously rejected the accusations this week.

Authors of the sensational dossier claim that Zanu PF does not want to face the MDC leader in the 2018 polls, which President Robert Mugabe is unlikely to participate in due to advanced age and poor health.

It is further alleged that the rebels are aware that Zanu PF is using them to remove Tsvangirai from the 2018 equation, while Western donors are supposedly blindly and unwittingly supporting the project.

The 17-page document, seen by the Daily News, also details how the MDC rebels supposedly started putting their plan together to depose Tsvangirai, with the active support of Zanu PF agents, way back in 2012.

Central to the rebels’ strategy, the document alleges, was financial sabotage of Tsvangirai and the MDC’s campaign in last year’s disputed elections, the diversion of party funds, as well as political espionage.

On top of the reported spying and manipulation of private issues, the rebels and Zanu PF also allegedly put together sophisticated propaganda programmes and other well-oiled plans to bribe party structures in a bid to turn them against Tsvangirai.

It would appear that some of the claims in the dossier were central to Mangoma’s charge-sheet.

The expelled MDC deputy treasurer general also been accused of having embezzled party funds, ostensibly to use them to win over party structures.
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