BY SYDNEY KAWADZA
NORTON Member of Parliament (MP) Temba Mliswa has dismissed a board of inquiry report by Hurungwe District war veterans, which has accused him of dabbling in Zanu PF politics.
Mliswa is an independent MP, who was sacked from the ruling party in 2015, but is now accused of interfering with its Hurungwe structures to strategically position his sister, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, the Mashonaland West Provincial and Devolution minister. The firebrand politician this week lambasted Zanu PF, saying instead of concentrating on his movements, it must be worried by its failure to implement its 2018 election manifesto.
Zanu PF’s Hurungwe district commissioned the inquiry into Mliswa-Chikoka following reports that she had violated party procedures during a restructuring programme. She is also facing charges of breaching Zanu PF rules and regulations governing the restructuring.
In its findings, the inquiry said Mliswa was acting as he pleases in Hurungwe West, his former constituency that has now been taken over by his sister.
“To stop this, his access to party structures should be stopped. He has such access through Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, and the latter should be made to refrain from granting such access,” the board recommended.
It also accused Mliswa-Chikoka and her brother of trying to build “a political springboard for not only herself and but more worryingly, for her brother, Temba Mliswa.”
This week, Mliswa said he has been attacked many times and he has learnt to live under such pressures.
“I have been accused of having firearms, AK47s on the farm. What is it that I have not been accused of? I deal with national issues and people with commonsense have realised that Temba will always be a target. They know Temba is honest. Let them speak,” he said.
“My sister has her own ways of doing things, so do I. But I have got more important things to deal with including exposing the lack of implementation and execution of the Zanu PF manifesto which is critical. I expose corruption and I think I am doing pretty well. I have a duty to represent my people,” he said.
In its report, the board of inquiry said the Mliswas were trying “to build an unassailable power block for an as-yet unknown political entity, which entity has political intentions at some future date to influence the political landscape of both Zanu PF and the government”.
The independent legislator thumped the Zanu PF candidate in the 2015 by-election called after he was expelled from the ruling party. “It is the firm belief of this board that this ostensibly formless plan is anchored on the capture of one constituency in Hurungwe, to be employed as a springboard from which to capture the entirety of the district,” the board said.
Mliswa-Chikoka is alleged to have contested and won the Hurungwe West primary elections with the assistance of her brother who supplied resources in the form of vehicles and food.
“This was despite the fact that Temba Mliswa was and is not a member of the party. Temba Mliswa also took to the field to campaign for Mary Mliswa actively, in return of his sister being his chief election agent in the Norton by-election,” the board said.
It also alleged that Mliswa’s acolytes, who supported him as an independent candidate had been placed in positions of leadership by his sister while displacing unfavourable but elected leaders in the constituency.
The board also alleged that Mliswa’s campaign team was reconstituted and deployed on behalf of his sister and were being rewarded with leadership posts in the party.
Mliswa is also accused of convening meetings in which he sought to meet the party leadership from Hurungwe West at his Spring Farm. It further alleged that Mliswa’s interference in Zanu PF affairs was an embarrassment to the party.
Zanu PF acting provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West Abiel Mjeri, in an interview last week, confirmed that party structures were seized with issues raised from Hurungwe district.
Mliswa-Chikoka also dismissed the allegations charging that she was being persecuted by “angry” war veterans who wanted to bully her since she was the only female legislator in Hurungwe.