By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
18 March 2014
A three member tribunal panel made up of experienced legal experts has been set up by the MDC-T, to hear the case of the suspended deputy Treasurer-General, Elton Mangoma.
A party insider revealed that leading advocates Trust Maanda, Eric Matinenga and Mordecai Mahlangu will form part of the disciplinary tribunal that will deal with arguments from both the MDC-T and Mangoma and his legal team.
SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that Matinenga, a former MDC-T MP and minister in the inclusive government, might opt out of the tribunal to avoid a conflict of interest. The advocate and Mangoma are both from Manicaland province and also sat in the cabinet of the unity government.
However a source told us that in the event Matinenga drops out, the MDC-T has already lined-up Brian Crozier, a former director of legal drafting in the Attorney-General’s office and one of the three JOMIC drafters who worked on the new constitution adopted last year.
Mangoma was suspended on 7th March following a meeting of the national council in Harare for allegedly ‘provoking divisions and bringing the movement into disrepute’. This is the first time since the formation of the MDC that a member of the standing committee has been suspended.
The four charges slapped on Mangoma were; undermining and bringing the party into disrepute, organizing factional meetings, disrespecting party organs, especially members of the standing committee, national executive and national council, and undermining the relationship between the MDC-T and its strategic partners.
His suspension ignited the slow-burning crisis in the MDC-T as other members are agitating for a split. At the heart of complaints from Mangoma’s camp is the alleged authoritarianism within the party, that has seen party leader Morgan Tsvangirai refusing to step down.
The former energy minister under the unity government wrote a four-page letter to Tsvangirai in January advising him to step down and allow for leadership renewal.
He accused Tsvangirai of tarnishing the image of the party through a controversial love life and failing to guard against an MDC-T defeat in the 2013 general elections, controversially won by ZANU PF.
Party national chairman Lovemore Moyo has defended dragging Mangoma before a disciplinary hearing saying it was necessary to rein in individuals bent on destroying the party for selfish gains.
He said as a voluntary organization, the party will not expel members from the movement but expects those wishing to move out to do so freely, as they don’t want to waste their time and energy dealing with ‘rebels.’
Meanwhile the Harare province of the MDC-T on Monday passed a vote of no confidence in its provincial leadership led by Glen View South MP, Paul Madzore.
Provincial spokesman Obert Gutu confirmed on his Facebook page on Monday night that all the councillors from the party districts in the province unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in Madzore, Willas Madzimure, the provincial secretary and Tichaona Munyanyi, the provincial organizing secretary.
The MDC-T has warned its members against using social media networks to wash the movement’s dirty linen in the public.
Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora is quoted confirming that they will now be monitoring Facebook messages posted by its officials to ensure they did not disclose internal party fights to the public.