By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
24 March 2014
Elton Mangoma, the suspended deputy treasurer-general of the MDC-T, said on Monday he would go to court to challenge his suspension as he wanted to question the legality of the move.
Mangoma’s lawyer Jacob Mafume told SW Radio Africa that he will file the application with the High Court on Tuesday, as it was their duty to point out the irregularities surrounding the suspension.
He said the court papers will cite the party, its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Secretary-General Tendai Biti and national chairman Lovemore Moyo as the respondents in the case.
However party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora downplayed the impending court challenge, describing it as ill-advised.
‘Mangoma is being ill-advised…he’s getting very poor quality legal representation. We will wait to see the application but before I even see it I know it’s an ill-advised job,’ Mwonzora said.
He emphasized the court action will not stop them taking Mangoma to a disciplinary tribunal that the party set up to hear the case against the former Energy Minister.
‘We are determined to rein in on one of our own. We are determined to enforce the discipline of the party. How can they approach the external courts when they’ve not exhausted the internal legal processes?
‘The tribunal has not sat down to hear the case. The three member body has not acted unfairly yet, they have not acted adversely against him yet and they certainly have not found him guilty yet…so how does anyone complain before the first justice has even rolled out? Asked Mwonzora.
Mafume remained adamant they will seek remedy before the courts as they believe the party has acted improperly in trying to discipline Mangoma.
‘We are taking this case to the courts to test the measure of democracy in our party,’ said Mafume, adding that the body that suspended Mangoma was not properly constituted.
‘The national council meeting was not done procedurally. There were people who were not supposed to be in that meeting and the atmosphere was intimidatory to an extent that no charges were read to our client,’ claimed Mafume.
Mangoma was suspended earlier this month pending an appearance before an independent disciplinary tribunal, in terms of the constitution of the party.
The party accused him of ‘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.