By Staff reporter, Wed, Apr 15th, 2015, The Zimbabwe Mail
HARARE – Former Hurungwe West legislator, Temba Mliswa, has taken a swipe at his former party, ZANU-PF, blaming it for bringing the country to its knees because of corruption and gross human rights abuses before launching a scathing tirade at ZANU-PF secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo and its national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, whom he singled out as the most corrupt.
Addressing a press conference in Harare yesterday, Mliswa branded ZANU-PF a violent organisation which belongs to the medieval era of thuggish politics, and not the democratic world of the 21st century. Mliswa also turned the heat on Deputy Home Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, who was his checkmate when he plotted the sharp tongued politician’s political demise and his wife, Florence Ziyambi who is the Director of Public Prosecutions in the attorney general’s office, blaming them for setting police on him.
Ziyambi replaced Mliswa replacement as provincial chairman upon his ouster last year. He then took aim at the ruling party itself saying time has come to take the bull by its horns and confront it. He disclosed that there were talks with the main opposition MDC-T, which is boycotting the by-elections arguing against an uneven electora field to vigorously contest the polls.
Mliswa, who is also the party’s former chairman for Mashonaland West province, joined growing calls for electoral reforms, labeling the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) a ZANU-PF tool.
He claimed that the ruling party had redirected the entire state machinery to Hurungwe West where he is contesting the June 10 by-election as an independent candidate, saying his arrest on Sunday had led him to decide against campaigning in the area to save the constituency from a possible bloodshed.
He was arrested ostensibly for disrupting a ZANU-PF meeting at a shopping centre near Nyamhunga Secondary School but the state declined to prosecute him when he appeared at Karoi Magistrates court on Monday, resulting in the case falling apart. Mliswa said it was Chombo who unleashed ZANU-PF youths to provoke him and so as to get police into action.
He said ZANU-PF has since unleashed a wave of terror and violence in his former constituency, including coercing chiefs, who haveapproached Hurungwe District Administrator, Tsana Chirau, seeking to prevent Mliswa from the area. A bullish Mliswa, however declared that although he would never set foot in the constituency until election time, he was confident he would trounce the ruling party come June 11.
He boldly dared ZANU-PF’s representative for the polls, Keith Guza, who won a primary election marred by voter apathy to take over his Spring Farm in Karoi. “People there have decided not to attend ZANU-PF meetings despite the fact that Chombo has tried to use his power as the minister in charge of chiefs to gather the people. He has hardly been in his constituency for six months, but he is regularly driving to Hurungwe West. It shows you the panic the party has and explains why they have unleashed violence there,” he said.
“I want a peaceful election. My recent arrest has shown that if I continue visiting the constituency, there will be a lot of violence. So I will not set foot there to save them from the violence. We will let ZANU-PF campaign as much as they want. I do not want to be an MP of a constituency full of people with broken legs and my job being that of carrying them to hospital. “With what I saw at the weekend, if that is what the election is going to be, I would rather save blood. We saw somebody being beaten and police not taking any action. Each time I go there, attention is on me. The aspect of human rights is not respected at all and that is where I agree with the MDC, that we need electoral reforms,” he said.
“Victory for me is certain. Two months will not change anything. If ZANU-PF is to win that constituency, they will have to kill all the people there and replace them before election time,” he charged. He spared the harshest criticism for Chombo, his principal political foe and Kasukuwere. He accused Chombo of being overtly corrupt and tribal.
“Unfortunately, Chombo has decided to be tribal. He says I should not be seen in Hurungwe but I am Zimbabwean, where do I go. If he wants to be tribal, then he should also leave Mashonaland West because originally, he is from Mashonaland East,” said Mliswa. “The party has been taken over by people who have an agenda to protect the money they have stolen, but in doing so, they must be in power. For the first time today, I want him to sue me; I can call him a thief. Him and Kasukuwere are thieves and I am prepared to prove it. I asked for them to account for their wealth and they have not accounted for it.
“Kasukuwere is building a house where engineers are coming from China. Material is coming from China and he was the minister of indiginisation and empowerment. Are you telling me there are no engineers here who are Zimbabwean? He has a wine cellar, when did black people get familiar with wine? I thought it was a preserve of the whites, not of blacks. So for me, you got thieves who are running the party. We need to know how hard Chombo worked to be so wealthy did,” he roared.
He called for the arrest of all corrupt politicians saying they should face the full wrath of the law. “No one has been arrested for the plundering of diamonds in Manicaland. How will money get into treasury when there is no accountability of resources and when they disappear, no one says anything. It’s business as usual. I want to give credit to the magistrate who was tough on the corrupt former Air Zimbabwe bosses. If this magistrate is to go for people who have destroyed this country by corruption, I don’t know how many years Chombo and Kasukuwere would get. But will they ever appear before the court like Mliswa does and others?” he queried to a roaring laughter from the scribes.
He then tore into Kasukuwere saying he was destroying the party leading to its rejection by the people.
“In one of the constituencies, the total number of people who voted cannot even make u [sic] a single district and he is the commissar, issuing statements when the party has no people. This is the test of the commissar. If you go to Harare East, it has 15 districts and the person winning there has 650 votes and the total number of voters was 1236 which is just one district. In Glen View, the person won with 190 votes, the total number of people who voted is 594 and the commissar is at work, reporting to the president that we are winning,” he scoffed.
Mliswa was the first victim of a ruthless purge that rocked the ruling party ahead of its crunch congress last year. He was first toppled from the helm of the volatile province last year before being expelled from both party and Parliament, accused of being part of a cabal fronted by former vice president, Joice Mujuru, which allegedly plotted to remove President Mugabe from power through unconstitutional means, even assassination.