Biti wanted to take us to Zanu PF, says Mangoma as he forms new party

FORMER Finance Minister Tendai Biti is working with the expelled Zanu PF faction led by Joice Mujuru with a view to collapsing the MDC-Renewal Team into a mooted new political outfit morphing around the former vice president.

FORMER Finance Minister Tendai Biti
FORMER Finance Minister Tendai Biti

Renewal Team’s now suspended treasurer general Elton Mangoma, on Wednesday claimed Biti has been engaging in “elite pacts” with the Mujuru faction without the blessing of the party.

“There was a tendency to engage in elite pacts against the principles of the party and even without the knowledge of the structures let alone the management committee.

“These are pacts meant to benefit the leadership and we were against it. Hence they fought very hard to get rid of me,” Mangoma told journalists in Harare.

He was addressing a press conference called to formally announce a split the former finance minister and the birth of a new political formation known as the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ).

Mangoma will serve as president of the new party.

He had been engaged in a vicious power struggle with Biti which rocked the one-year-old Renewal Team, 12 months after the two opposition stalwarts left the MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai, having failed to force the latter’s resignation.

Matters came to a head last week when reports indicated Mangoma had been bedding a party activist’s wife.

The former Energy Minister denied the charges while the woman at the centre of the row has also came out absolving him of any wrongdoing.

Biti and his colleagues then set-up and ad-hoc committee to investigate the violence which followed the adultery claims against Mangoma, suspending the treasurer general on Tuesday.

Mangoma then reacted by convening a meeting which announced the split.

“I received a message from Solomon Madzore (youth assembly leader) yesterday (Tuesday) notifying me of the committee’s wish to interview me today (Wednesday) at 9am, but hours later they announced I had been found guilty and suspended,” said Mangoma.

“It is the kind of behavior that should never be associated with a democratic institution. It is the kind of behavior that forced us into leaving Tsvangirai and is associated with Zanu PF.”

In his acceptance speech for the leadership of the new party, Mangoma accused his former colleagues in the Renewal Team of “deviation” from the founding values resolved last year.

“We shall pursue the philosophy and ideology of modern nationalism,” he said.

“This entails that we will, in all our endeavors, always put our country and its people first before all else.

“We shall always pursue the emancipation and liberation of the region and indeed Africa as a whole. We believe that no matter how protracted, bitter and costly the struggle for change may be, it is nevertheless a just and legitimate cause”.

He said since the national council meeting which announced the split from Tsvangirai “there has been institutional stagnation in terms of building the party and its institutions”.

“For a longtime, following the Mandel declaration, we have been dithering and ambivalent in constituting our party properly. As a result we have suffered an identity crisis.” said the former energy minister.

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