Biti, Mangoma tussle for presidency

HARARE - The tussle for the leadership of MDC renewal team is allegedly threatening to stall the party’s reunification efforts with the Welshman Ncube-led MDC — with Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma said to be going toe-to-toe for the president’s post.

With the renewal team expected to go for its inaugural elective congress in April, party insiders told the Daily News yesterday that relations between Mangoma and Biti had become frosty, amid allegations of smear campaigns as the two lock horns for the party’s presidency.

After the congress, the United MDC (UMDC) congress will follow four months later, where leadership of the united party will be chosen — opening up another theatre of power games as the two are also said to be keen to lead the united front.

“The two do not see eye to eye these days amid allegations that Mangoma’s supporters have started to de-campaign Biti, labelling him a coward who could not stand up against (Morgan) Tsvangirai’s dictatorship,” said one well-placed source.

Mangoma was the first to come out openly about the need for leadership renewal in the mainstream MDC. His supporters want him rewarded for his courage by becoming the party’s president.

But Biti’s supporters, on the other hand, feel that while the former Energy minister is brave, he does not have the political acumen and clout that the former Finance minister possesses.

Among those supporting a Biti presidency are the Madzore brothers — Paul and Solomon.

Mangoma is said to boast the backing of influential former mainstream MDC treasurer-general Roy Bennett, who is believed to be unhappy with the decision to rope in Ncube in a United MDC.

Bennett, insiders say, supposedly dislikes Ncube whom he accuses of not doing enough to support him in the parliamentary portfolio committee on Justice after his assault case on Patrick Chinamasa was brought before the committee. Bennet was jailed for one year for assaulting Chinamasa in Parliament.

Ncube was a member of the portfolio committee.

Mangoma admits that there are elements within his party who are not comfortable with the reunification, but denies there is a fallout between him and Biti.

He said he was not interested in the politics of personalities as he was concerned with serving the people, adding that after the April congress, they would begin to work on the modalities of the united MDC congress set for August.

“There might be some people who do not want progress to be made and they may not necessarily be the ones you mentioned (Biti and Bennett),” Mangoma said.

“At this stage, it is not about personalities and who did or did not do what. It is not a case of because you fought yesterday so you must be rewarded.

“I did what I had to do and that cannot be justification for a position. What is important is whether an individual is ready to work for the people.”

Mangoma also said his party was ready to work with Tsvangirai’s MDC as well as disgruntled Zanu PF elements that include former vice president Joice Mujuru.

“Anyone who is genuine about the need to work for the nation and deliver people from the current crisis, we are prepared to work with,” he said.

“If they (Zanu PF members) genuinely see that they were wrong, if their Damascene moment comes and they say we know we were lost, then it’s fine because we are one nation. There is no enemy among us, we are one,” he said.


Comments (20)

Fols who take an action without a plan.Embarassment

manu - 21 January 2015

atanga zvakare ma centres of power.

selele - 21 January 2015


judas iskariot - 21 January 2015

A bunch of useless power hungry guys.The so called grand coalition like the renewal team itself is going nowhere.There are also some leadership problems in the Ncube led MDC.How can we follow this circus really?

dambe - 21 January 2015

Chinongozivikanwa icongress. They can have as many as they want ana Mango..... boorangoma weee. What rubbish.

Edzai - 21 January 2015

At first they couldn't make up their minds on what name to give to their desolate outfit, then they had a hard time over what colors to wear. We recently also heard they are at odds with their new recycled partner Welshman Ncube over the coming by elections with both parties tugging at opposite ends. And now we have these two self proclaimed democrats, Biti and Mangoma fighting over leadership of this directionless outfit. Fighting over crumbs is a better way to describe this madness if you ask me.

Dr Know - 21 January 2015

This why I sometimes think that democracy is too "weak" to take us out of poverty. Ko hatinawo here anaSankara muArmy umu boys??

selele - 21 January 2015

It's like one idiot at Newsday said a few months ago - these two BALD men are fighting over a hair comb!

Musona - 21 January 2015

When you are under a capable leader or manager you may think you a clever and you can run a big organisation own your own which is stupid of course . Biti and Mangoma have just seen that now that under the leadership of Morgan they had direction which they do not have now. Let them fight after that they will tell us how much were they paid to try and destroy MDC T . Dander heads never learn if Ncube tried it and failed why try it yourself idiot .

Diibulaanyika - 21 January 2015

I think its a very much healthy situation to have leadership contested from day one of formation of a political party. The benefits of such a practise will be realised in the long run. Endorsing leaders is a dangerous thing and can make people find themselves stuck in mud. Mangoma and Biti must campaign freely and the winner must come from their party people's vote. Whatever the loser does thereafter is something else. May people's wishes in their party through ballot prevail. This could be a ground breaking in the country's politics and parties if the two go for leadership post via their internal polls. At the moment it looks like a taboo to contest for ladership. Poliical parties must make it a habit to open to contest all posts. Its somethig new to the country and must be embraced.

X-MAN IV - 21 January 2015

True it is healthy to contest fairly for leadership in a party. If Mangoma and Biti are indeed that democratic why did they not take up Tswangirai to an elective congress and tussle fairly with everybody instead of breaking the party? Diplomacy and managing your boss is the crux and finesse of modern politics. They failed to manage Tswangison! Mangoma akaita chiboora ngoma. And Mbiti, what a blood fool!

Mbareboy - 21 January 2015

How is it possible to work with Tsvangirai now after deserting him for his perceived clueless and directionless leadership? Never put one's trust in any one of these politicians Psalm 118 v 8-9. Instead of having remained united as an opposition force, Mangoma and company dream that they are now in a better position to effect change than when they were together as the MDC of 1999. Shame on you guys.

tomasi ndofeni tohwi - 22 January 2015

This country has a very serious leadership crisis in almost every sector ,nothing is functioning,May the good LORD help us and restore our pride AMEN.

widzo - 22 January 2015

Ndinenge ndashaya chokuita kuzotevera vana Biti naMangoma wake.Kuzoti vana Ncube,haiwa chimboitai,isu tinoramba tichitsvaga rusununguko chairwo kwete zvokutsvaga mari nezita revanhu izvi.Munhu haatengeswi hama dzangu.

kushaya basa. - 22 January 2015

It appears the GRAND COALITION'll collapse well before its establishment. BITI vs MANGOMA & NCUBE vs PRISCILLA. What a circus really! Where would the struggling masses go with that endless power struggle???

FACTIONALISM - 22 January 2015

Today congress ya BITI na MANGOMA. Next yava yaNCUBE na PRISCILLA. Then GRAND COALITION one comes. Why not just come together, RENEWAL TEAM & MDC NCUBE to form that UMDC to attract every Zimbabwean&join ZANU PF??Kuda zvinhu zvinganaka.

CONFUSION - 22 January 2015

Im not surprised about this development as i saw it coming. the very thing that made them defect from the main MDC forming their own power lust faction that dont even derseve to be called MDC renewal. if they claim to be that democratic i dont think they should have formed this doomed group. they were supposed to fight Tsvangirai from within their plot was an ill timed one, they thought they will break away with a number of supporters but alas thats not how the masses think. its better to fight your differences but within your house, you blame the zanu pf guys but they know how to play their game. some have been fired but they are fighting from within they are going nowhere. why cant you face Morgan and see what the populace will decide. im sorry for you ladies oooh sory by the way you call yourselves gentlemen the storm in your political room is still brewing there is more to endure until the UMDC congress.

The Atomic - 22 January 2015

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CARTRIDGE GALLERY - 22 January 2015

They thought fighting Tsvangirai could make them national heroes.MT&his MDC T are not yet dead&buried as BITI lied to his boss Mugabe. Zimbabweans struggle with MT to free the country, NOT personalities.They don't fight to bring anyone down but to bring true freedom & rebuild the country for everyone.

MAREMA MAROMBE - 22 January 2015

This BITI successfully exposed ZANU PF's attempt to rig his seat in Mt Pleasant only to make a stupid about turn&say the 2013 elections were free&fair.He went further to applaud ZANU PF's fraudulent 'bhora mugedhe' slogan against the MDC T manifesto he had himself authored.But,ironically,the same idiotic Biti, later turned around&claimed the 2013 elections were stolen.Who in their right mind can trust such an evasive leader?RUBBISH,RUBBISH,RUBBISH!!!!!!!

TAMBURAI - 22 January 2015

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