By Robert Tapfumaneyi
OPPOSITION Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ) leader Elton Mangoma is retiring from active politics saying he has done his part after three decades.
“I have now quit active politics and am now taking a back seat as I believe I have done my part in the last two decades,” Mangoma told NewZimbabwe.com.
“Retiring from active politics is something that has been missing in the Zimbabweans politics.
“There comes a time when you must say I have done my part in terms of political participation and that you need to be taking a back seat and start to think of the nation at large and that is the essentially the step I have taken.”
Mangoma contested the 2018 presidential elections as the candidate for the Coalition of Democrats (CODE) and garnered just 0.1 percent of the vote.
On CODE’s performance in the crunch July 30 where he managed just 2,437 votes and no parliamentary seat, Mangoma said it’s the voters who are now regretting.
“Our narrative was too good for most people that they felt that maybe it was not possible; the issue of power politics rather than value-based politics,” said Mangoma.
“I think it was still new, we were introducing something that is new, and it will take a little bit of time to catch on and we did not have the budget to be able to specifically spread it.”
“And I think the people are now sobering up after the hype that was there where people were saying just vote me and I will do everything afterwards.
“They are now able to see and know that they should not rely on men or women but on systems and something that is properly guarded.”
Mangoma is a founding member of the MDC party which left to be involved with the MDC Renewal Team Project in 2015. He would later split from the latter grouping to form his RDZ party.
Mangoma said he will now be part of what is being called a council of elders in CODE.
“I think this is a very practical step to say some of the things I have been doing were for the national good as opposed to personal benefits.
“So, what we aim to be doing is have a group of men and women who will be able to direct and be able to caution some of the leaders in a manner that is for the national good.”
On whether he was leaving active politics with regrets, Mangoma said; “I don’t have any regrets at all.
“I have had many lessons and the lessons I have had, the experiences I have had, have shown that the majority of our leaders do it for themselves and not for people.
“And therefore, I think we want to have a culture where when people who take public office to say that I am doing it for the benefit of the people and not for their own benefit.
“And I think it’s one of the major lessons I have learnt. I have some wonderful experiences with a lot of the players and such an experience that if I had not been involved I would not have known.”
The opposition politician saved at energy minister in the Government of National Unity (GNU) which was formed after disputed and violent elections in 2008
He was also co-chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) which was tasked with the monitoring of reforms under the GNU.