'Leadership renewal only way to save MDC'

HARARE - MDC deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma talks to Senior Assistant Editor Guthrie Munyuki.

Below are the excerpts of the interview.

Q: How do you intend to continue with MDC activities in the aftermath of your assault?

A: The MDC was formed in 1999 as an avenue to achieve democratic change, socio-economic transformation and to extricate the people of Zimbabwe from poverty and deprivation. The MDC was also formed to fight for people’s freedoms, including freedom of association and freedom of expression, in a tolerant society.

These freedoms are well captured in the party constitution, in particular article 4.6 which says “the MDC firmly believes in freedom of speech, freedom of expression and further, the free circulation of ideas and information within the movement”.

It is clear to me that the people who perpetrated this violence on me have support from the president and some senior members of the party.

These few individual have deviated from the original party values and this is regrettable.

In terms implementation of programmes and carrying out of activities, my view is that the party will not be able to function normally until the president returns to constitutionalism. My main focus now is to get the party back to constitutionalism, desist from violence and intimidation, and to follow proper procedures.

Q: What led to the assault?

A: Ever since I submitted the letter to the president in private, he has not found it important to respond to the issues I raised therein.

This letter was leaked to the press by someone other than me, and the president acknowledges this.

Instead they are using the leaking of this letter to develop a well-orchestrated plan to vilify and physically assault me.

The assault is to silence those who are insisting on returning the party to its original values, rather than serving the interests of a few individuals in leadership positions.

Q: Your president Morgan Tsvangirai has denied setting you up for the assault.

For the record what really transpired and why did you come to the conclusion you had been set up?

A: In the first instance, the president called for a meeting outside constitutional party organs, whose sole purpose was to incite and whip emotions against me.

In addition, some youth were bused to the venue of the meeting and were given beer with an intention to assault me.

It is well known that prior to the Saturday meeting, other meetings were held, including for Harare province at which Morgen Femai in the presence of Nelson Chamisa verbalised that I should be beaten.

After the meeting, the president, went down to disperse these youths. His message had three main issues, that the meeting had been finished and they should now disperse. (What business did they have to do with the meeting?),  that the issue of Mangoma will be dealt with internally and iii) that they should attend the rally the next day.

There was no message of non violence delivered by him and these youths did not disperse. He later offered to go with me in his car.

When we got out he was in front, then he stopped and the youths started assaulting me.

One asks; has he lost control of the youths and the party for me to be beaten right in front of him?

Q: Why did you delay reporting your assault to the police?

A: I felt that it was necessary that I needed to collect accurate information on my assault.

At the same time, I was sure that my party, which claims to have zero tolerance to violence, would take decisive action against the perpetrators including reporting the perpetrators to the police.

To this date I am unaware of any action that has been taken against the known perpetrators.

As you are also aware, the president’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, issued an inaccurate and contradictory description of how I was assaulted.

Q: What remedy does a police report provide you in the current storm?

A: The police have a constitutional obligation to protect citizens from criminal activities.

Q: Have you thought of the backlash from those opposed to you in the event that there is a police raid at Harvest House in light of this?

A: We in the MDC have nothing to hide from anyone. I do not know or prescribe how the police work, but I do not see any reason for them to raid Harvest House as none of my assailants live or work there.

In this event, why would police raid Harvest House over rowdy and drunk youths who are stationed outside Harvest House, the scene of the crime, and have completely nothing to do with party operations?

Q: Could this be signalling the end of trust in Tsvangirai that he can use internal disciplinary measures to punish those who assaulted you?

A: The president created an atmosphere that was conducive to the assault of party leadership who disagree with him.

An environment unsuitable for free deliberation and exchange of ideas by delegates was also created.

He has an opportunity to redeem his credentials of not tolerating violence by acting swiftly on the perpetrators.

It is not what he says, but what he does which is important for the trust to be restored.

Q: Are you going to resign from the MDC and if not what options are there for you to remain in the party?

A: No. The MDC was not created for the sole benefit of any individual but for the democratisation agenda of Zimbabwe.

These principles and values remain the same regardless of individuals deviating from them.

I will not resign from the party because those in the leadership including the president have acted in a manner that is contrary to our party principles as enunciated in our constitution and as formulated at the National Working Peoples’ Convention.

It is these individuals that must return to the constitution of the party. I fight for democracy and subscribe to the values of the party. No one should give in to those who want to split the party to avoid the critical and necessary questions to be asked and answers provided.

Q: Clearly, you guys are divided; how do you intend to patch up the rift and work for the good of your party?

A: Divergent views do not necessarily mean division.

The fact that there are a few individuals who have contravened the constitution and are abusing their official positions does not mean we are divided. Debate on critical national and party issues must be allowed.

Q: What is the way forward for you and those seeking leadership renewal?

A: Like any democratic institution the evaluation of the leadership and its performance is a crucial component for its survival.

Whether or not there are people calling for leadership renewal, the evaluation of the leadership must be conducted without delay.

If you look at the questions I raised in my letter, they question critical issues around his leadership credentials.

For example, I raised the questions of how the house issue has compromised the president. How the issues of women have dealt a heavy blow to Tsvangirai’s credentials.

I also raise the issue of lack of confidence in the MDC and how the same needs to be resuscitated before the next elections.

If you zero in on the issue of reforms, as espoused by the GPA, and the issues that were forwarded to the principals either for further negotiations or implementation, it is clear that our leadership was found wanting and my questions remain pertinent.

On the way forward, we are a democratic party guided by principles and values.

A congress, which is the party’s supreme decision-making body, is the only body with the mandate to resolve leadership issues.

Congress must be held to evaluate leadership performance and map the way forward.

For me, leadership renewal is the only way to save this party and ensure victory in 2018.

Comments (52)

Iwe Mangoma, who do you think should be the president of the party, obviously you have it all figured out

Yahwe Murhasta - 24 February 2014

More beatings to Mnagoma please until reformed. Remember how we beat Rugare Gumbo in the camp during the war, and so how he reformed.Now we made Rugare a spokesperson of the party and he can't stop heaping praises on us who beat him. If Ncube was beaten, there wouldn't have had a split and a person called Mutambara

Pfumo - 24 February 2014

Mangoma is right that leadership renewal is crucial in MDC but he must not just think it is to remove Morgan Tsvangirayi, it has to do with all of them, who now want to go amongst them. He is part of the failed team and he also has to point at himself not Morgan Tsvangirayi alone. He uses MT's women as an excuse, ZanuPf is winning election ne magora evarume wani, how many in ZanuPf still have their original wives surviving wives not Mt's dead Susan but still managed to beat MDC in an election if open zip was the problem zanupf could have been history ask the President of ZanuPF himself. Elton is a send bad omen to the people of Zimbabwe. It was unfortunate to have his shirt torn but he has done enough to damage what they called the people's project. What happened to him shows he can't win a post in MDC because that assault means he is not wanted. He is not a strategist in MDC but a destroyer and with a torn shirt in his hands he has killed a 14 or so year old struggle because he cannot wait for 2016 a year they all agreed that we have an elective congress, where there exceptions Elton? If you want others to respect the constitution you should also respect it. patience is valuable sir.

maita - 24 February 2014

It must be put on record that Mangoma was not even there when the party was being formed. That is why he is so reckless.He does not even understand why the party was formed.He used money to buy his way up the ladder BUT zvaguma.Even if the group succeeds to topple Tsvangirai outside congress, the working people will not allow this confessed capitalist to steal the working people's agenda.Where does he get the money he is dishing out to provincial chairpersons form- a wopping US15000 per head!!!!!!!!!!!

tshiki - 24 February 2014

Mangoma is right. if the one thing uniting the opposition is the need for democracy why should it be different whithin the MDC. For Christ's sake Tsvangirai has been partyleader for 15 years allready by the next congrees thatt would be 19 years. and in all those years he has failed to achieve the one goal remove Mugabe whether its his fault that he has failed or not the point remains he has failed. and whats so special about Tsvangirai? Please leadership change now!! there many credible candidates Biti, Chamisa even Mangoma. at least a change in leadership will generate a feeling of rejuvenation in the party.

SaMaita - 24 February 2014

Mangoma has the right to express his opinion. He subscribes to the value of democracy. Thats very good. What raises eyebrows and worries the most is the means through which he aims at achieving democratic values, leadership renewal in this respect. He seemed to be well versed in constitutional aspects yet ignorant about his own party's constitution. It is well known to anyone who is interested that traditionally the congress is the only platform through which leadership is endorsed and removed and that is according to the constitution of the MDC. Realising that the very democratic platform is set in jus 2 years from now i begin to wonder whats this rush by Mangoma all about and why did the interviewer not quiz Mangoma about this truths. Then one may be convinced Mangoma has an evil agenda, a more, a project to destroy the opposition from within.

Decent Ndongwe - 24 February 2014

mangoma dai wambomira gakava party leadership inosarudzwa ne vanhu kwete iwe dont be an attention seeker elton otherwise yu free to ship out or shape in period. yu are being used nemhandu

tototo - 24 February 2014


tonde - 24 February 2014

Mangoma is 100% right after all he did not say he wants to be the leader himself but is just advocating for leadership renewal ndovanhu vatinoda ivava when Mbeki was recalled by the ANC were the grassroots consulted-Tsvangirai should go zvakwana

Nyamhangambiri - 24 February 2014

Mangoma's points are quite valid. There is need to touch base with democratic principles and procedures. However, it seems to me that Elton is overstating his case. Sometimes it is necessary to keep quiet once you have stated your point. Engaging in countless press conferences exposes Mangoma as power hungry and also as someone who is self-centered and lacks emotional intelligence.

Feldman Bandura - 24 February 2014

democracy ye mdc is to be used against zanu pf not internally please,no freedom of speech within your own party only against other parties please.

tesd - 24 February 2014

Elton learn to shut up and follow procedure. Everything with party leadership is procedural. Why did you write a letter when you know the procedure. Who or what the hell are you to decide Morgan's fate. If he was chosen by the people why then didn't you wait for the congress. Your letter is null and void hence you deserve the beating. Join Zanu pf or leave our party in peace!

Shepy Tarzy - 24 February 2014

I would have celebrated if this Mangoma guy had said the top six should resign for having failed the party not to single out one person as the cause.Unfortunately time will come when the funders of this project start demanding results-Strve will not pour his money into this project for no results.Watch this space for details

Tshiki - 24 February 2014

Mangoma should be reminded that the MDC had more pressing issues than the issue of leadership renewal. The guys were just suppose to admit that they failed together , are they trying to say Tsvangirai was making one man decisions prior to the elections now. And for him , he has done more damage than good to the party as we speak. He is fooling himself by thinking that he can be a hero of change. Beware of being irrelevant!!

Max - 24 February 2014

Maita you are right. Mangoma should be constitutional and wait for Congress of his party. If he can't wait let him mobilise sufficiently in the structures to call for an early congress. The way he is going about all this shows that he will not respect the majority's wishes if he were to be president. It means he would (as he seems to be doing) usurp a people's project into a few peoples party- the very same thing which happened with ZANU-PF - although ZANU-PF makes a semblance of going to congress. Can't he wait and follow processes? His kind will become the it and will not be removed easily- because he is executing a coup-detat. It is wrong. Leadership renewal is needed, and it includes him, Biti and the rest. Same thing we (there are many I've confirmed agree with this notion) are saying about ZANU_PF- Leadership renewal- not only Mugabe.

simon - 24 February 2014


shiloH - 24 February 2014

Elton, stop to rush national issues.National issues are not your personal issues. kana iwewe usingachadi zvemusangano buda wakanyarara kwete kuda kunzeresa noise isina basa. kwedu tinoti Pasi naMangoma, zvechokwadi unoita accident iwe. why do want to disturb the pple`s movement. unotaura zvevakadzi iwe pauri ipapo hauna girlfriend iwe?

mangomangaabve - 24 February 2014

Welshman Ncube when he was being accosted to form an alliance with Morgan said the very same thing about violence and a leader who acts contrary to party constitution in MDC-T. It looks like Zanu incubation is now fully complete in MDC-T.

Spokes - 24 February 2014

Cde Elton Mangoma, sei murikutya kutanga your own party? You are being beaten by people within this party yamuri ku kambira. Just move out. Gwisai, Ncube, Sikala were MEN enough. Do not be a coward.

dereck - 24 February 2014

Elton hausati warohwa zvako. Kubvaruka shirt, apa trousers riri intact, pen firmly stuck on pocket, no blood, no nothing... hakusi kurohwa uko. Wakanobvarura shirt wava kumba kwaMorgan iwe. Uchabatwa hako zvakanaka naka...nerimwe zuva!

Trymore - 24 February 2014

Mr Mangoma one thing you should know is that removing the leader of the party doesn't help help in improving the performance of the party. U are also part of the loosing team, don't exclude yourself. See a good thing from Zpf after a defeat they regroup and map the way forward and now what, they won the Elections resoundingly.Unless u have been paid something to destroy your party from inside otherwise this nonsense must stop.Start working with your party members collectively. Zimbabweans want mature politics.

mdala - 24 February 2014

Elton, stop to rush national issues.National issues are not your personal issues. kana iwewe usingachadi zvemusangano buda wakanyarara kwete kuda kunzeresa noise isina basa. kwedu tinoti Pasi naMangoma, zvechokwadi unoita accident iwe. why do want to disturb the pple`s movement. unotaura zvevakadzi iwe pauri ipapo hauna girlfriend iwe?

mangomangaabve - 24 February 2014

I would have celebrated if this Mangoma guy had said the top six should resign for having failed the party not to single out one person as the cause.Unfortunately time will come when the funders of this project start demanding results-Strve will not pour his money into this project for no results.Watch this space for details

Tshiki - 24 February 2014

'David wanted to capture the Jebusite city of Jerusalem. But the Jebusites who lived there said, "David will not get in here. Even the blind and the lame can wade you off". Nevertheless, King David captured the fortress of Zion, which he renamed the City of David. Later on he gave this instruction: The blind and the lame will not enter the palace.' The Holy Bible.

Mashonaland Dickmarsh - 24 February 2014

Samaita, uri murwere wepfungwa. Unoda kuti Tsvangirai aite sei iwe usingaendi kunovhota? Nxaa.

Professor - 24 February 2014

Mangoma mutengesi. pasi newe.

Professor - 24 February 2014

Was Elton Bitten or akadambura hembe dzake ega hoping to get sympathy from people ? Hauna kurobwa mudhara, sorry hako nekusundwa sundwa kwawakaita. Viva ZANU

mutema - 24 February 2014

Kana mukadzi akaroorwa nemurume anozenge achimurova mumba, pane mativi maviri enyaya. But all said & done this wife has got a decision to make. Same applies with the husband, nyaya inenge yatofumuka so he has to decide. Ideally though kufukura hapwa hakuna kunaka, use the systems within the party to resolve issues kana zvaramba kokungoinda zvinei without causing some kind of havoc by tryin to use warships from other camps on your own camp... zvaramba zvaramba don`t force it.

Farai - 24 February 2014

Well said Farai!

Tichauyako - 24 February 2014

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Roof Repair Solutions - 24 February 2014

Tichauyako kuMDC, kuzotungamira, nekuti munotidako.

Boterekwa - 24 February 2014

Anhu weMDC munoshamisa, saka munoti morgan aizozvivhotera kuti abvise vaMugabe ? kikikikikikikikikikikikikiki zvakaoma hazvo

MUTEMA - 24 February 2014


chero ndadya - 24 February 2014

never dream of a split we just chess out all the mafekezelos never should you point one person MT for your failure to win a seat but you yourselve you were an executive members of MDC T WHY did YOU not see that ZANU PF WAS STEALING AN ELECTIONS, You were a minisiter you mangoma you need a second beating just keep quite kana uchida kuona support yaMOGIZA Ramba uchiita zvauri

dofo - 24 February 2014

mangoma is a coward.i hate him.tsvangirai suffered for tht part iye oda kubvutira bhonzo pamuromo.if he is man enough let him go and form his part.not to boasts with other man's strength

lloyd sandram - 24 February 2014

kana panezvinonetsa pamoyo u say it out one-on-one kwete zvetsamba zvakare izvo coz zvinenge zvave zvemakuhwa kana kuti kushandiswa nemhandu. kana morohwa nemaYouths moenda ku press moti mavara azara ivhu . muzive kuti revolution eats its own children saka mkoma Elton pfavirai ngoma husiku hurefu. politics I sinjonjo munhu tamba wakachenjera.

chitova - 24 February 2014

210 districts have have spoken come 2016 Morgan will be easily re elected but fools like Mangoma can not see that . i smell a rat here why is Mangoma singing same song like zanu ,remove remove Morgan ?

Dibulaanyika - 24 February 2014

Mr Mangoma you are being used by Cowards.Honestly,relax and wait for the next Congress,for now campaign secretly.Morgan is The MDC brand u will never win the war till Mugabe z gone.He z the only capable man to armtwist Mugabe.Pliz ive him one more chance to chew Bob

jones wengewenge - 24 February 2014

mkoma Elton itai semurume zvakaita ana Prof Welsh and hon Job Sikala. leave and form own party or join others elsewhere since theres political freedom to do so. power chaiyo iri kugrassroots kwete kuHigh Table kwenyu uko. if u provoke the vanguards of the party munozochema muchiti heee Morgen andisetera maYouths yet imi ndimi munengematumwa nevachena pamwe nemhandu.

chitova - 25 February 2014

Mangoma who do you think you are Form your own party. Do you think people will vote for you as President kkkkk shame on you urikuda kuti ana Bennet vatonge zimbabwe thus Kunyepa wena

Patrica - 25 February 2014

Mangoma he is talking sense but his mistake is using the public domain instead of soughting party issues using party structures.

innocent - 25 February 2014

Kuna Va Mangoma Eh nyaya yenyu vanhu vakaiterera, zvikonzero zvenyu varikuzvinzwa. Asi pane mibvunzo, ko avo vanhu varikukusundai ndivanani? Ko sei musingaende kuvanhu mononzwa kuti vanoti chii? Ko va Mangoma ndiani,uye vane ma qualities ekutungamira here? ko kurohwa kwavo kwakakonzerwa nani? naivo here, kuti vasvibise zita rava Tsvangirayi? Manga muripi MDC ichidliwa? Kuti mungave makumanyisa mari at the expense of your party? Ko imi nana Burnnet chi chamunohwereketa nevanhu avo? Ko munoziva here kuti ZANU PF inotoziva kuti ma weaknesses enyu nana Biti ndeapi? Ko mukarohwa zve pamberi apa, zvinenge zvarongwa nani?

Muprofita - 25 February 2014

The MDC party is at its weakest right now and this is good for the enemy. Those that are inside and those that are outside. Remember the saying, where the Lord built a church the devil built a chapel. For the enemy to be effective he has to work from the inside. Because of the failure to win the election the enemy and the weak in the party sense blood. Like hyenas they will attack when they believe their prey is at its weakest and the moment is now. They know that if MT is left to rally he will again grow in stature to be more formidable than before. That's why they is all this furore. What people on the ground and what genuine party people realise is the need to remain focused and remain united in trying times. Look at what happened to our neighbours in Zambia. Michael Sata went into opposition in 2001, he lost to Levy Mwanawasa in 2006 and again to Rupiah Banda in 2008 only to win in 2011. It was because his party didn't turn and rip each other to shreds after these defeats. What the likes of Mangoma do not seem to realise is that without Tsvangirai they will not win anything. Tsvangirai is a natural leader and he is part of the appeal that the MDC has for the people. He was the Associated Mine Workers Union chairman and was later elected into the executive of the National Mine Workers Union. he became the Secretary General for ZCTU in 1989. From this history one can tell that he has always fought for the down trodden masses, against the white man and against fellow black men. The masses know that, that's why they will stick to him. Go and form another party like Sikhala or Ncube and it will be of no consequence, why? MT is the difference. It is easy to think that because a brand has been created one can just ride on it to success, but that's no guarantee. Look all the splinter groups maintained the name MDC but did it give them success. NO. Stop and think.

Noe - 25 February 2014

What ever Mangoma did that did not warrant him to be subjected to violence. Why have clauses in the constitution that allows freedom of expression and at the same time beating anyone exercising such rights? Only people devoid of ideas do such things. Unless the MDC was formed so that Tsvangirai can be President Of the country. I bet you such levels of intolerance and barbarism unleashed on Mangoma wont make that a reality. You have lost my vote.

Gogodera - 25 February 2014

The man Mangoma like Welsh,has a fantastically oversized ego and will point at all the evils he perceives in his leader except his own.

MASCARA - 25 February 2014

Mangoma you failled to run one gvt parastatal minstry of energy ,anhu we zesa vakatadza kuwedzerwa mari dzavo iwe uripo wakangoti ngwiro kunyarara,iwo mutemo uchiti ndavapiwe.nhasi ndipo powoziva kuda ku interprenter mutemo ,hauikwanisi kuitonga nyika ino even ku leader party coz you are a loser elton.

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kmanje - 25 February 2014

Mangoma form your own party uwone kuti unovhoterwa naani? Ask Sikhala, Gwisai etc unotamba iwe. MT ndizvo

ndozvo - 25 February 2014

Iwe Mangomwa, Leadership renewal should also apply to you, you fool. Hatidi kukuona kuno ku ghetto. Ukadimbura nekuno tinokuvhuna gumbo rako iroro rinokamhina imbwa yomunhu.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 25 February 2014

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