THE MDC-T Veterans’ Association (MDCVA) — formed in 2008 to address social welfare issues of victims of political violence — has added its voice to the “Morgan Tsvangirai must go” calls by pledging undying loyalty to the former trade unionist.
The association also singled out MDC-T deputy treasurer-general, Elton Mangoma, whom they accused of having a “sinister motive” to cause a split and asked him to quit the party.
Mangoma torched a storm in the MDC-T last week after he penned a letter advising Tsvangirai to step aside, arguing he had lost all credibility owing to his conduct as a leader and in his personal life.
But Khumbulani Sibanda, the organising secretary of the MDC-T veterans’ association told Southern Eye in an interview yesterday that they were solidly behind Tsvangirai and wanted Mangoma out of the party.
“Pertaining to the issue of Mangoma, the national executive of the MDC-T veterans’ association has come to a point of saying that we do not tolerate such behaviour and expect such utterances from members of the standing committee,” he said.
“Mangoma thinks that he is larger than the party and can say whatever he wants, but as the MDCVA we are saying he should go hang. He should leave the party and form his own if he has a following.”
Mangoma could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he was quoted recently defending his letter calling for leadership renewal to rejuvenate the MDC-T after the July 31 electoral defeat to Zanu PF.
The MDC-T national executive met on Friday to discuss Mangoma’s letter and party officials were gagged from discussing the issue in public.
“We are the majority. Tsvangirai represents the majority, but Mangoma represents the minority,” Sibanda charged.
“The party cannot be distracted by a minority. Tsvangirai, like other comrades, has invested a lot of blood and sweat into the party and the struggle than Mangoma.
“To Tsvangirai, we say, we are solidly behind you,” Sibanda added. He claimed the association had close to 65 000 card carrying members.
MDC-T national chairman, Lovemore Moyo — who insiders say stands to lose his post if there is leadership renewal — has said people who want Tsvangirai gone should instead quit the party.
Mangoma joins a host of other senior officials like Roy Bennet, Ian Kay and Eddie Cross who have also publicly raised the need for leadership renewal to rejuvenate the party.