NEWLY-FORMED opposition party Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) has suffered a major blow after two of its top members in Mashonaland East Province resigned last week, citing dictatorship by their party leader Elton Mangoma.
by Jairos Saunyama
Pre-congress national deputy organiser, Jimmy Jalifi and youth president, Saizi Vilela said they quit after failing to reach common ground on various issues with other party leaders.
Mangoma confirmed the pair’s resignations yesterday.
“I am quite aware of that, the truth is that they were suspended by the party for spreading gossip about the party. Both guys expected to grab positions at the congress, but lost in the elections. Jalifi wanted to be the organising secretary, while Vilela wanted to be youth president, but they lost. They were bitter about the loss,” he said.
The RDZ was formed last year after Mangoma and other top party officials broke ranks with Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party. Both Mangoma and Biti severed ties with opposition MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai in 2013.
In his resignation letter dated December 29, 2015, Jalifi accused Mangoma and other top leaders of deviating from the opposition party’s founding principles.
“I wish to tender my immediate resignation from the party following a series of irregular practices that undermine the very reasons for which we purport to have left both Biti and Tsvangirai,” he said.
“It appears to me that the president [Mangoma] is bent on awarding himself sweeping powers to arbitrarily and single-handedly determine the direction of the party. This is contrary to the founding values, which we espoused at the formation of this party.
“The deviation from and violation of these founding values and principles continues and is, in fact, on the increase. I had hoped that we would work together as a team guided by the principles of democratic leadership and respecting the constitutional positions and the roles and responsibilities conferred upon them. I am sorry I cannot continue to be part of this gravy train.”
Vilela in his resignation letter wrote: “I would like to tender my resignation and cease to be an RDZ member with effect from
today. Gossip and fornication have become the order of the day. The level of maturity, even from the leadership; it’s like the president is a Sunday school teacher, the leadership is too childish…”