By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, February 04, 2016 – Opposition Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) leader Elton Mangoma (pictured) says his erstwhile colleagues within the MDC-T should share the blame for the current demolition of houses in parts of Harare, where hundreds of families have been left homeless.
Mangoma was addressing a media briefing in the capital on Wednesday.
Harare has witnessed sporadic cases of demolitions on structures authorities insist were build on undesignated land.
Many blame the mushrooming of illegal residential structures past few years on previously uncontrolled activities of so-called land barons who allegedly enjoyed protection from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
But while rights activists and other observers blame the rot on the ruling party, Mangoma proffered a different view.
“The MDC-T should grow up and not be cry babies. It is them who are at the forefront of these demolitions, just like they were at the forefront of the chasing away of vendors,” he said.
The Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC controls the Harare city council although the administrative functions of the beleaguered city are in the hands of city executives appointed by the Zanu PF led government.
Mangoma, who is former energy minister in the country’s erstwhile unity government, said instead of the MDC-T complaining, they should in fact know they were worse than Zanu PF.
“They are if not worse than Zanu PF actually because Zanu PF has been talking and they have been doing. Let’s hear the conflict if it’s there,” he said.
MDC- T spokesperson Obert Gutu denied the allegations noting that his party had no control over state power.
Gutu singled out the recent demolition of homes built on a piece of land near the Harare International airport which he said were sanctioned by the state President.
“We are a party that upholds democracy and we have stated that the demolitions were unlawful and unconstitutional,” he said.
“I respect Mr Mangoma but what he is saying is not true.”
The MDC-T spokesperson said party councillors were in fact playing second fiddle to government authority and could not stand what he said was the full might of state security.
Meanwhile, Mangoma has said his party would soon be assisting the victims of the demolitions in line with its policy on reparations.
“We are talking to the city fathers so that they realise that when we are not condemning them in public, we want to engage them and come up with a way forward,” said the former MDC-T treasurer general.
RDZ is an offshoot of the MDC Renewal Team, now PDP, which comprises former MDC-T politicians who broke away from the main opposition citing poor leadership from Tsvangirai, from whom they were demanding his stepping down.