MDC’s Biti faces down Tsvangirai


On Friday the MDC national council agreed to suspend the party’s deputy secretary, Elton Mangoma, for his public call for Tsvangirai to step down.

But Biti reversed the decision, arguing that the suspension had been carried out in an illegal manner.

“I call for Mangoma to have his right to be heard and for all the delegates eligible to attend such meetings to be verified,” Biti said.

Mangoma’s lawyer, Jacob Mapfume, said his client had taken Biti’s declaration as the way forward.

“My client will continue with his duties in the party because his suspension is null and void. It is clear that procedures were not followed. If they wish to suspend him they should follow procedure,” said Mapfume.

After suffering a heavy loss to President Robert Mugabe in the last general election, Tsvangirai has been fighting voices of dissent within the MDC.

The first to voice his concerns about Tsvangirai’s leadership was the exiled Roy Bennett, then others followed.

But it is Mangoma who pushed Tsvangirai to the edge, with a letter advising him to step down and take up a “Mandela” role in the party.

At the weekend, Tsvangirai told an MDC gathering that those wishing to do away with him should form their own political parties.

“If you do not want to work with me you are free to leave,” Tsvangirai said.

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