Makoni expelled from Mavambo/Kusile

HARARE – Former Zimbabwe finance minister and losing presidential candidate in last year’s elections, Simba Makoni, was yesterday expelled from the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) movement, in a boardroom coup by his lieutenants.\r\n

Makoni formed the MKD in the run-up to the combined March presidential, parliamentary and local council elections. He had said he would transform the movement into a full-fledged political party.

Addressing a press conference in the capital, MKD mobilisation committee chairperson Kudzai Mbudzi said Makoni was kicked out of the movement by its national coordinating committee for allegedly failing to provide "leadership and direction” to the movement.

Mbudzi, who alongside MKD national coordinator Ibbo Mandaza and provincial executives have been fighting with Makoni over control of movement resources, accused the former finance minister of being indecisive and holding an ambivalent position that “indistinguishable from (that of President Robert) Mugabe and ZANU PF.”

In October, Makoni was nearly ousted by the provincial executives for failing to speedily transform MKD into a political party.

"Makoni has persistently refused to sever links with ZANU PF. He continues to be manipulated and therefore gets constant guidance and comfort from some hidden forces within ZANU PF," Mbudzi alleged.

"He therefore regularly holds clandestine meetings with some ZANU PF heavyweights. So Simba Makoni is not his own person," added Mbudzi.

Makoni left ZANU PF in February to form MKD and contest the presidential election as an independent candidate against Mugabe, Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and little known Langton Toungana.

He came out a distant third in the election.

Mbudzi said the coordinating committee found out that Makoni lacked the political muscle to transform MKD into a viable political party.

Mbudzi, who addressed the press conference in the presence of the movement’s 10 provincial executives representatives, also accused Makoni of financial impropriety.

He alleged that the former ZANU PF politburo member had declined to account for monies donated to MKD in the countdown to the presidential election.

"We, the founder members and the provincial leadership of MKD, therefore hereby declare Makoni is with immediate effect relieved of his coordinative and administrative duties, functions and responsibilities at the strategic apex of the MKD movement," a statement signed by the movement’s provincial leaders.

Mbudzi said they would soon announce an interim leader.

Efforts to get a comment from Makoni were fruitless yesterday, but he recently denied infighting in the movement saying he was in charge. He also denied allegations of impropriety. — ZimOnline