Tuesday, 26 July 2016


Former Zanu PF Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa said he will contest the Norton constituency seat as an independent candidate, after it was left vacant following the expulsion of Christopher Mutsvangwa from the governing party.

The outspoken Mutsvangwa was expelled from Zanu PF over a fortnight ago after the party’s disciplinary committee found him guilty of being unrepentant even after suspension.
Mliswa told the press in Harare yesterday that his decision to contest was guided by the Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard) national executive.

However, Mliswa said he will withdraw his candidature, if Mutsvangwa wants to stand.
“I would (withdraw) naturally because I was the provincial chairman for Mash (Mashonaland) West and Mutsvangwa worked under me, not only that I was actually his campaign manager. I understand Mash West, I operated in Mash West, and the people of Mash West still love me.

“I had people in Norton, coming to me, saying we want you to stand. If Mutsvangwa stands as an independent, I will fully support him and I will withdraw my candidature,” Mliswa said.
Mliswa was expelled from Zanu PF in 2014 following indiscriminate party purges, before he contested as an independent candidate in Hurungwe West by-election last year.

He narrowly lost the election to Keith Guzah and challenged the outcome at the Constitutional Court, arguing that Guzah was not a registered voter in the area.
However, the court ruled that one does not need to be a registered voter in the constituency that he might need to stand as a Member of Parliament, but simply has to be a registered voter.

“It is therefore, important that this ruling is put to test as well as to use the Norton by-elections as a litmus test in observing how well the ruling party and government are aligning themselves with the electoral reforms,” Mliswa said.

He further said the by-election in Norton, which is a peri-urban constituency, will act as a barometer for Zanu PF’s strength, which is concentrated in rural areas.
He further spoke on the need by opposition political parties to unite against Zanu PF, adding that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai must lead a mooted coalition, because he has a huge following.

“I like Morgan, he is courageous,” Mliswa said.
He also said only Mugabe and his conscience can make him leave office, but quickly said the nonagenarian leader is not serious about transforming the country.
Mliswa said no investors are willing to invest in Zimbabwe as long as Mugabe remains in power.

Yard’s spokesperson Tinotenda Mhungu also said Mliswa’s participation in the by-election is part of the organisation’s consolidated effort that associates it with opposition political parties and movements such as #Tajamuka/Sesjikile and #ThisFlag.


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