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Mangoma and others: Resign or be disciplined

By Makusha Mugabe

As an founder-member of the MDC who is still active at district level, I was angered by the letter quoted here and attributed to deputy treasurer general, Elton Mangoma. 

Makusha Mugabe
Makusha Mugabe

The hypocrisy of the letter, which was collaboratively written by more than one person, was evident from the beginning, professing loyalty to a leader whom you are urging to resign for the good of the party.

As part of the top leadership of the MDC-T responsible for the negotiations and a member of the management committee for the transitional mechanism, Mangoma and secretary general Tendai Biti were right at the centre decisions taken by the party, including going to the election without a voter’s roll.

He admits to bearing some of the responsibility and blame for the electoral fraud of July 31. We say, not some, but a lot of the responsibility, and also for the state of confusion and paralysis that resulted from failure by the party to recover from the defeat.

Structures have been calling for the leadership, including him, to carry out a structure-wide post-mortem of the election, to reveal exactly what went wrong, map the way forward and re-mobilised members.

That councillors were bribed by Zanu (PF) and voted with it during mayoral elections is not a secret and indeed it was a manifestation of a crisis of leadership in the MDC-T, but how does this reflect on Tsvangirai’s and not Mangoma’s and the rest of the top leadership’s leadership?

We also do not see the bearing of the personal and private issues of the President on calls for leadership renewal in the party. In fact we do not believe Mangoma knows what leadership renewal means.

We have branches, districts and provinces where some leaders have long since stopped existing, died, abandoned, got tired or simply became ineffective. We need renewal in all these structures to bring up leaders who will then work to strengthen the party again and deliver for us a national leadership that will take us to the next election.

That is what we call leadership renewal; the process is already behind schedule and is screaming for leadership from the national leadership, in this case the organising department’s leadership. But it is also the national executive’s responsibility to get the national organising secretary to initiate this if he does not do so himself.

But all that Mangoma and his co-conspirators can think of is how they can remove the President to satisfy their own ambitions, which is amply demonstrated by his ludicrously equating the succession conundrum in Zanu PF to our own situation in MDC-T.

The published letter claims that it is Mangoma’s ‘unbending resolve’ that leadership renewal ‘could be the only avenue to restoring the credibility of the party.’ He calls it his unbending resolve, then says it could be the only way; thus exposing the collaboration of two writers; one who has an unbending resolve to have leadership renewal, where leadership renewal means removing Tsvangirai, and another removing Tsvangirai could be a way of restoring credibility to the party.

They believe that if the leadership status quo is preserved, i.e. if Tsvangirai is not removed, confidence in MDC-T would continue plummeting. What makes them believe that they will bring confidence back to MDC-T, especially when they have nothing to show in terms of servicing the structures and have been less than transparent in this election defeat. In fact they are proving to be downright power-seekers.

To quote: “MDC still has a significant role to play in the democratization process of Zimbabwe but cannot do so in its current state.” Which current state, Sir? The one that you have created through scheming, backbiting and briefing against the leader, and even sabotaging him?

With 2018 approaching campaigning does indeed need to commences under a renewed leadership, a dedicated leadership, from the cells right up to the national council, which is why the proposed accelerated programme to bring the congress forward would make sense.

The congress proposed by Tsvangirai cannot be held at the national level only, it starts at the branches and cells, and goes up to the national, clearly not possible by March, but a bit later. But apparently it is the same leadership of Mangoma at el which has refused to have the early congress.

He says the party is in dire need for new ideas, new thinking, a new trajectory and new stimulus; yes but we don’t think you have it. If you cannot show it now, what makes you think we will believe that you will show it when you have removed Tsvangirai? That is the poison that has paralysed the party, and it is probably you that should resign Sir.

Mangoma says the highly undesirable scenario of Tsvangirai remaining in “questioned leadership,“ (questioned by you, and who else? Roy Bennett? and who else?) would bring back the ghost of 2005-2006, leading to a nasty war of attrition in the party.

This war of attrition is exactly what Mangoma and his partners have already instigated in the party over the last few years which can even be blamed for the electoral defeat we suffered. Structures were divided into these camps which they are calling leadership-renewal camp and non-renewal camp, but they should rightly be call anti-Tsvangirai and pro-Tsvangirai camps, because the so called renewal camp is not talking about renewal, but removing Tsvangirai – a coup.

It is clear now that what was then referred to as Project 2018 did exist, and it would not be surprising if the July 2013 election was deliberately sabotaged by ambitious and greedy individuals who feared that if Tsvangirai became president, it would ruin their own chances of getting into State House in 2018.

This is as shameful as destroying party structures in order control them and the resources from those provinces – such as happened here in the UK. We have branches that are unaccountable to their districts. All the monies that they supposedly sent home for the elections where going directly from branches to Mangoma, and their treasurers in the districts don’t know about it; how much was raised and how much was sent, and how much actually landed in the electoral battlefield?

MP candidates complained for having no money from the national leadership and Mangoma was directly implicated in this failure to disburse monies to MP candidates, which led to a physical assault on him, that he is now want to pin on Tsvangirai.

It was Elton Mangoma again in 2007-8 who was receiving funds and fuel coupons from diaspora structures, but were never properly acknowledged and which led to the MDC-UK being accused of having stolen £57 000 worth of donations for the election. Fortunately, back then we had a functioning system which allowed to good accounting.

It was out of respect for national leaders that these issues were not spoken about publicly, but now that the same leaders who live in glass houses are now not showing lack of respect for their own leader, it is open season.

Mangoma asking Tsvangirai how will YOU will be able to undertake the reform agenda that WE failed to do when WE were in government and YOU had Executive power! Again the original document was clearly about how WE failed, then the final editor wanted to make it YOU, leading to the meaningless statement.

So now all of a sudden it is all Tsvangirai‘s baby, yet when Zanu (PF) refused to implement agreements and resolutions, Tsvangirai was coming back to Mangoma and Biti as the negotiators, his advisors and the management committee. Did Mangoma and Biti not take some of these issues back to the standing committee and even the national council to make decisions together?

So why should Tsvangirai answer for all members failing to care enough for the people or for members having used their time in government for personal aggrandizement, personal wealth accumulation? They should all resign then and Mangoma should name them.

Surely the current impasse on the former Prime Ministers Highlands residence is a Zanu (PF) problem, not the Prime Ministers‘. He served his four years and is entitled to it, just as Zanu (PF) ministers who have served full terms were entitled to their retirement packages. If the rules change, they should change for all.

If there are issues of misuse of funds, why don’t, or didn’t, you deal with them using the systems that you designed for that purpose as the virtual treasurer general? And while you are at it can you also account for the UK 2008 election funds scandal which was white-washed by the Sipepa Commission after being given all the evidence.

Team spirit and mutual confidence eroded by misconduct of the primary elections, violence visited on staff and Mangoma himself, lack of constitutionalism and failure to follow procedure on appointment of officers to the National Executive and public officers; surely that is why you, why the standing committee and the national executive is there; to deal with those issues instead of allowing them to fester, then try to blame them on the President, without any due process.

That is party administration and organising which has nothing to do with the President. In fact the whole scenario proposed by Elton Mangoma exposes lack of sensitivity to the aspirations of party members and Zimbabweans and a betrayal of the faith that we have put in him and other national leaders.

It is a total let-down by chancers who came into the party with a single purpose, to benefit themselves, even if it means sabotaging the people’s project. We call on Mangoma and any of his supporters to resign if they have decided that all they want is to be President rather than realise the project for which President Morgan Tsvangirai invited them to the party to help realise.

Tvangirai has been delivering, mobilising the international community, and locally, leading every rally that the party organised, leaving the country buzzing with support.

Maybe it was a mistake to bring into the party people whom the party thought, since they were self-made, with personal resources to contribute to their campaigns for Parliamentary seats, at the expense of original and dedicated party members who may not have had personal resources to contribute to their campaigns, but were dedicated.