Squabbles Widen Mavambo Cracks

SERIOUS divisions have reportedly rocked former Finance Minister Simba Makoni’s political movement over allocation of resources and the failure to immediately transform the movement into a fully-fledged party.

Impeccable sources in Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn movement said trouble has been simmering since October last year when the former Zanu PF politburo member was accused by his provincial executives of retarding progress in launching the political party.

According to sources the executives, led by the three Matabeleland provinces, nearly revolted against Makoni during a meeting of the national coordinating committee in Harare on October 27.

“The executives accused Makoni of slowing progress in transforming the movement,” a senior founding member of the movement said. “They accused him of being too academic in launching the party.

The meeting was tense with provinces telling Makoni point blank that they were prepared to walk away from the movement and form a party independent of him.”

The sources said the party — to be known as the National Alliance for Democracy — was supposed to be launched in August last year, but Makoni continued to postpone its inception arguing that there was need to come up with a sound constitution and policies.

Apart from accusing Makoni of delaying the launch of the party, the provinces reportedly accused him of refusing to distribute vehicles donated to the movement before the March 29 presidential elections.

Makoni contested the March 29 presidential election as an independent candidate against President Robert Mugabe, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and an independent contender Langton Towungana.

He came out a distant third in the election in which Tsvangirai out-polled Mugabe, but failed to garner the 50 plus one vote percent to assume the presidency.

Makoni, the sources said, was of the opinion that the near- revolt against him was being orchestrated by the movement’s convener Ibbo Mandaza and national mobilisation coordinator Kudzai Mbudzi.

Mandaza and Mbudzi, the sources said, were accused by Makoni during the meeting of allegedly influencing the provinces to turn against him.

This week, Mbudzi declined to comment on the problems in the movement, while efforts to speak to Mandaza and Makoni were in vain.

“I am not at liberty to discuss what is happening in the movement,” Mbudzi said. “Speak to Makoni and Ibbo.”

Before the latest upheavals, the three Matabeleland provinces had threatened to pull out of Makoni’s movement. Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South provinces wrote to Makoni threatening to quit over the way the movement was being run.

In a letter to Makoni, the inter-provincial steering committee said it was dismayed by the manner in which its contributions to the formation of the party had been handled by the Harare office.

“We would like to remind you that we are equal human beings and that we were ill-treated for a long time under similar circumstances, and cannot live to repeat this,” the letter said.

“We have seen the superiority complex displayed by individuals at ‘the head office’ which is run like a family outfit and are very unhappy to be part of this, and particularly detest the arrogance, lack of foresight and leadership that has so far been displayed.”

The letter warned that failure by the Mavambo head office to deal with issues of concern raised by the steering committee could lead to the severing of ties.

“We request audience with you (Makoni) before the national consultative conference to discuss the issues (stated in the letter). If this is not possible, we shall have no option but to announce (an) immediate suspension of the relationship between ourselves and the head office and we shall proceed with the development of the party in the direction and pace that we feel shall be beneficial to our supporters,” added the letter. — Staff Writer.