FORMER Energy minister Elton Mangoma yesterday announced the formation his own party Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ), formally declaring a split with his erstwhile comrade and MDC Renewal Team secretary-general Tendai Biti.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Other notable members in the new party’s national executive include former MDC-T Manicaland spokesperson Pishai Muchauraya, former MDC youth secretary-general Promise Mkwananzi, Trust Chikohora and Fidelis Mugari.
A day following the announcement by the MDC Renewal Team that he had been suspended pending disciplinary action on charges of violence and divisive behaviour, Mangoma said the process had been anything, but transparent.
“I received a message that I was supposed to appear before the committee today (Wednesday) that was investigating the violence that resulted in my being attacked and other issues yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon,” Mangoma said at a Press conference.
“But a few hours later a two-man team who did not even have the jurisdiction to investigate or suspend me announced I had been found guilty of all the charges preferred against me. That is the kind of behaviour that forced us out of the MDC-T and the behaviour we have known to belong to the Zanu PF regime.”
Mangoma was serving as treasurer-general in the Renewal Team that was formed after another split with Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.
He was yesterday appointed interim president of RDZ and immediately announced the party would pursue a “modern nationalism ideology”. Mangoma accused his former colleagues in the Renewal Team of “deviation from the Mandel declaration (that laid the basis of the party’s foundation) which we hold to be timeless and sacrosanct”.
“This entails that we will, in all our endeavours 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 endorse unreservedly all the noble efforts in the region and in the continent to fight for political autonomy and economic progression of Africa and its member states,” Mangoma said in his inaugural statement.
The RDZ, according to Mangoma, will henceforth work towards the convening of its first congress “at least within the next 150 days”. He called on President Robert Mugabe’s government to pay reparations to victims of political violence.
The ex-Cabinet minister, who was also expelled from the MDC-T after calling on Tsvangirai to step down, said the Renewal Team had suffered “institutional stagnation” and “for a long time, following the Mandel declaration, we have been dithering and ambivalent in constituting our party properly” resulting in an identity crisis.