TENSIONS continue to rise in MDC-T amid reports that a charge sheet to punish the party’s deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma for “publicly embarrassing and humiliating” party leader Morgan Tsvangirai is being compiled.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday, the MDC-T’s national chairperson who is also in charge of the disciplinary committee, Lovemore Moyo, said his committee was tasked to compile a charge sheet detailing issues raised in Mangoma’s letter that violated the party’s code of conduct and ethics.
“My team has been tasked by the standing committee to prepare a report to be submitted to the national council,” Moyo said.
“It is not my committee that will make a decision on whether to charge Mangoma or not but the national council.”
Moyo also said the charge sheet would not be based on the letter which Mangoma wrote to Tsvangirai but the process which he took resulting in the issue spilling to the media.
“Writing a letter is not a problem but the process which Mangoma took resulting in the issue going public and also him responding and debating the issue in the media,” Moyo said.
“As a party we welcome ideas and criticism directed at our leadership by any member because it is their democratic right to air their views.”
Moyo also said a special tribunal would be appointed to do the hearing and deal with the disciplinary procedures.
This is, however, contrary to recent reports by party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora who claimed no disciplinary action would be taken against Mangoma.
Mwonzora last week said: “Let it be known that no action will be taken against Mangoma for his letter because we are a democratic party and we do not punish people for their opinions.”
The disciplinary committee report also comes after some local media outlets reported that the feud between Tsvangirai and Mangoma was resolved a fortnight ago after the two privately met at the former premier’s Highlands residence and agreed to bury their differences.
As fissures continue to widen, Mangoma joined other top party leaders like the national treasurer, Roy Bennett and standing committee members Ian Kay, Eddie Cross and Elias Mudzuri, who have called on Tsvangirai to step down after losing three consecutive elections to President Robert Mugabe amid accusations of vote-rigging.
Mangoma wrote a four-page letter urging Tsvangirai to resign and allow fresh blood to take over ahead of the 2018 elections.
His letter torched a storm of controversy with some party officials declaring their allegiance to Tsvangirai while others insisted a new leader is needed to break the jinx of perennially playing opposition politics.
Since Mangoma’s letter, the MDC-T has been rocked by intra-party violence. This week the house of party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti was petrol bombed by unknown assailants and the police are investigating the matter.