Home » Governance » Expelled MDC-T Quartet Defiant

Four senior officials expelled from MDC-T — among them party deputy treasurer-general Mr Elton Mangoma — yesterday described their ejection on allegations of insubordination and violating the party’s constitution as a legal nullity.Mr Mangoma, national executive member Mr Last Maengahama, youth national secretary-general Mr Promise Mkwananzi and former director of information in the then Prime Minister’s Office Mr Jacob Mafume, were booted out by the MDC-T national council when it met in Harare on Thursday.

The quartet has been vocal in calling for leadership renewal in the violence-riddled party, saying Mr Morgan Tsvangirai should pass on the baton after failing to lead MDC-T to electoral victory between 2000 and 2013.

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, a spokesperson for the clique, going by the name MDC Team, Mr Mafume described the expulsions as unconstitutional and unprocedural.

“We do not consider ourselves expelled. We have not been expelled and we will continue to do our duties whatever they were and as best as we can for the interest of the party and the generality of the Zimbabwean population using the vehicle of the MDC until the proper procedures are followed,” said Mr Mafume, a lawyer by training.

“As the spokesperson of the renewal team, we find nothing shocking in the unconstitutional decision made on Thursday by a bogus national council purportedly to expel the deputy treasurer-general Mr Mangoma, the youth assembly secretary-general Promise Mkwananzi and Last Maengahama, a member of the national executive, and myself.”

Mr Mafume said Mr Mangoma’s treatment made him a victim of selective application of the law in MDC-T.

“What is puzzling is that the national council expelled Mr Mangoma who is already on suspension pending a hearing without affording him an opportunity to be heard. This is not only in violation of the party’s constitution, but flies in the face of the principle of national justice.

“There is serious selective application of the law in the MDC as the members are expelled for convening a Press conference yet we know that a number of members of the MDC do convene Press conferences and (criticise) any member that differs with them.”

The renewal team said several national council members were barred from Thursday’s meeting through unconstitutional suspensions, with some ineligible people sitting in, thereby making the decision a nullity.

Mr Tsvangirai’s allies have in recent weeks been purging the ranks of critics, even as the party leader claimed to have made peace with the rebels.

They have also been accused of using violence against rivals as they seek to hold onto power.

Meanwhile, MDC-T legislators and other party officials have vowed to defy a directive to contribute US$100 each to fund operations as donor support for the beleaguered party dries up. MPs said the national council’s decision was unilateral, unsustainable and unprecedented .

The cash-strapped party made the decision on the basis of recommendations by acting treasurer-general, Dr Tapiwa Mashakada.

Senior executives are to give US$100 each, lower level officials are to chip in with US$10 apiece, and district executives US$5 per person.

Dr Mashakada has also written to party astructures abroad, such as in the United Kingdom and Ireland, for provincial and district executives to contribute 50 British pounds each and for ordinary members to stump up five pounds per head.

These are once-off payments to be done by the end of April, and thereafter everyone should contribute US$1 monthly.

“May you also be notified that a monthly subscription for the UK and Ireland province membership is two pounds per month. The party can only be sustained to continue with the struggle by your worthy contributions,” said Dr Mashakada in a letter dated April 3, 2014 to UK amp Ireland chair Mr Tonderai Samanyanga.

Members of Parliament interviwed by The Herald yesterday said they would not pay the US$100 but those who made it to the legislature via the proportional representation system were willing to contribute.

“We are owed a lot of money by Parliament in sitting allowances and fuel coupons. We are subsiding the Government by coming to the House without getting fuel coupons and now we are being asked to subsidise the party. Where are we expected to get the money?” asked one legislator.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora, however, insisted: “The idea is to fundraise and underwrite our struggle… this is a decision made by the national council of the party having looked at the circumstances of each group or category.”

Mr Tsvangirai, known for lavish boat cruises and expensive taste in women in recent years, has been begging party members to rescue party coffers after donors tightened purse strings in the wake of the MDC-T’s heavy drubbing at the hands of Zanu-PF in last year’s harmonised elections.

And in light of leadership squabbles that culminated in the barbaric assault of Mr Tsvangirai’s opponents, donors are reportedly channeling money to the anti-Tsvangirai lobby in the troubled party.

Mr Tsvangirai recently lashed out at diplomats from western donor countries for meddling in MDC-T affairs after it emerged that they supported calls for leadership renewal.

Source : The Herald