By Staff Reporter
HARARE – A heated meeting of the MDC-T National Executive on Friday censured Deputy Treasurer General Elton Mangoma for using the media to push a leadership change agenda instead of using party channels and platforms.
Sources in the meeting have told Nehanda Radio that Mangoma was not suspended as alleged by some quarters but will be facing a disciplinary hearing chaired by Vice President Thokozani Khupe.
We understand Secretary General Tendai Biti never uttered a single word during the meeting.
Tempers have been high in the party after Mangoma wrote a letter suggesting that Tsvangirai should resign immediately and hand over power to his deputy (Khupe) pending an extraordinary congress that would choose a new leadership.
Tsvangirai’s supporters were camped outside the Harvest House headquarters in a show of support for their leader. Many chanted unprintable insults aimed at Mangoma’s disability and mimicking how he walks.
Meanwhile the meeting on Friday also decided that the party’s annual conference will be held in March.
“The conference will focus on policy issues and organizational renewal. With immediate effect VP Khupe is going to chair the party’s fundraising committee,” our source said.
Other sources have confirmed that the decision to make Khupe chair of the fundraising committee was effectively meant to sideline Bennett who until now was doing most of the fundraising for the party.
We also understand the conference in March might also be used to purge leaders within the party ranks who have been labeled ‘disruptive’ and are being accused of undermining the party to push for Tsvangirai’s ouster.
In an interview with Nehanda Radio this week, Mangoma explained why he decided to write a letter advising Tsvangirai to step down.
Mangoma says he has more love for Tsvangirai than party officials who praise him yet talk badly behind his back as US diplomatic cables leaked by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks revealed.
He rejected claims that those pushing for Tsvangirai’s ouster are being sponsored by Western governments unhappy with the MDC leader. The former Energy Minister said he and like minded officials never offered Tsvangirai US$3 million to step down as alleged.
He insists he wrote the letter in his personal capacity and did not have any meeting with Treasurer General Roy Bennett and others in South Africa to plot a position paper.