Mangoma suspended

The MDC-T National Executive Council that met today suspended the party's Deputy Treasurer, Elton Mangoma, Douglas Mwonzora, the Secretary for Information, has confirmed.


However, Mangoma's lawyer, Jacob Mafume, dismissed the suspension as "null and void", saying the process that was used was flawed.

Mwonzora said Mangoma, who recently called on MDC-T boss Morgan Tsvangirai to step down and allow for leadership renewal, was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

"He will appear before the National Standing Committee for bringing the name of the party into disrepute, undermining the authority of NEC (National Executive Council), abusing party funds, fanning factionalism and spoiling the relationship of the party with strategic partners," Mwonzora told The Zimbabwean.

He added that three competent lawyers and a qualified judge would compose the disciplinary tribunal that he said would sit soon.

Mafume told The Zimbabwean: "There is no proof that the meeting was properly constituted by NEC. In fact, Mangoma was chased out of the meeting, in violation of Article 12 of the party constitution. We hear that they (Tsvangirai and his loyalists) brought in some youths into the meeting."

He added that the meeting violated the spirit of democracy and said Mangoma had not been advised of the charges he would face.

Mangoma was recently attacked by party youths reportedly aligned to Tsvangirai, after the MDC leadership met with provincial representatives at Harvest House.

The attackers are also reported to have intended to manhandle the Secretary General, Tendai Biti, and several other top party members who are said to be supporting Mangoma's leadership change agenda.

The US and Australian embassies have since condemned the intra-party violence.

Meanwhile, police forcefully dispersed a gathering of party supporters who had converged at Harvest House ahead of the meeting.

The crowd, among them members who openly expressed allegiance to Tsvangirai, was dispersed by anti-riot police soon after Biti arrived in a blue Toyota Corolla.

Vendors who operate near Harvest House along Nelson Mandela, between First and Angwa streets, took to their heels while the majority of the shops in the vicinity shut down temporarily.

The police also barricaded the road.

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