via Mangoma: I’m no Biti poodle, respects ex-PM 07 September 2014
FIREBRAND MDC politician Elton Mangoma says he still holds great respect for party leader Morgan Tsvangirai but insists he will never reconcile with a man he describes as a coward.
The former energy minister early this year penned Tsvangirai a letter, persuading him to relinquish the leadership position he has held since the MDC’s formation 15 years ago.
NewZimbabwe.com caught up with Mangoma who said he had no regrets for demanding Tsvangirai to leave, despite this having provoked the MDC split, with the breakaway faction now calling itself the Renewal Team.
“I have got great respect for him and if l met him today l would repeat my call to him to say ‘please save the people of Zimbabwe’ step into the founding president role. You are no longer capable of taking the fight forward’,” said Mangoma, also a chartered accountant.
Biti and Mangoma were the MDC-T negotiators during interparty talks that brought the 2009-2013 inclusive government in Zimbabwe.
“I did not sell out as you can see l am a very principled person; l am not as poor as other people would have liked me to be and therefore if l was selling out, what could be the reason that l was selling out for,” he said.
Mangoma also denied claims by his MDC-T rivals that Biti was the brains behind the MDC-T split April this year and that he was merely a front runner.
“People can have their own fantasies. Why would I be a puppet of Biti? Can l not think for myself? I am a chartered accountant. Why do l need someone else to think for me?”
The former opposition MP said he got frustrated by Tsvangirai’s failure in the inclusive government to use his executive powers he had been afforded by the coalition agreement.
“When you are given executive power you must create your own means; just as much as when l was minister l created my means to say ‘this l won’t have, that l would have’ and so forth, rather than saying ‘l don’t have this’. You have been given the power to lead,” he said.
“Tsvangirai had more power but simply did not know how to use it. If anybody sold out the people, it’s him because he could not use his executive powers to help the people.”
Mangoma also denied accusations he is among the biggest beneficiaries of Tsvangirai’s leadership, having been appointed minister ahead of other MDC leaders.
“In fact when a person like me goes into politics, l actually sacrifice more than life and limb, l would also be sacrificing my earnings because when l am there l actually earn far less than when l am running business, all l did was to have that opportunity to serve, which l did.
“It’s those people with small minds who think that when you become a minister you are actually going a step up, when in fact for me you will be going down.”
Mangoma denies Tsvangirai was pulling huge crowds to his rallies as compared to the Renewal Team.
He says Tsvangirai himself has also been ditched by some of his lieutenants.