TICHAONA KATSVAMUTIMA IN CHINHOYI
Zanu-PF youths in Mashonaland West Province have threatened independent Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa, with unspecified action as well as banning him from attending events officiated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Business Times can report.
The governing party’s Mashonaland West youth league chairman, Vengai Musengi, accused Mliswa of denigrating his sister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka’s rivals in the race for party provincial chairmanship.
Mliswa-Chikoka is the Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution.
Musengi, Mliswa-Chikoka, acting Zanu PF provincial chairman Abie Mujeri and others are said to be gunning for the post left vacant following the elevation of Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to the Politburo.
Musengi, who spoke at the party’s Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting in Chinhoyi on Sunday, took aim at Mliswa.
“I am being lampooned by Mliswa on social media, and then people come to my inbox and counsel me not to respond.
“Some of the things he is peddling are damaging the party. He scolds us on social media, and ironically after that you see (Temba) Mliswa at the top table when we have the President’s programmes,” Musengi said.
He added: “I am standing for the youths. Our position is that the President’s programme that was recently conducted at Ngezi was the last for Mliswa to have attended. Down with traitors.”
Musengi also accused Mliswa-Chikoka of abusing her office to instigate arrests against youths aligned to him on trumped up charges.
“Some party youths are being arrested willy-nilly on spurious charges allegedly because they belong to me. As Mashonaland West, we have a very big problem, as we march towards elections. Let’s leave the police to do their professional work.
“There is no amount of accusation that would stick when someone is innocent. As a possible contestant, it’s not a crime to express my interest to run for a post, just like I did in 2018 when l challenged (Webster) Shamu who was also governor then.”
Contacted for a comment, Mliswa hit back saying Musengi lacked political grit to bar him from attending Mnangagwa’s events.
“Vengi (Musengi) is a small boy and reasons like a kindergarten kid. He must learn to separate Zanu PF events and national events because the Zimplats event at Ngezi he is referring to was a national event where legislators were invited. I was invited, l don’t invite myself,” Mliswa told Business Times.
“I go to the Zanu PF congress because they are the ruling party. I go to hear what their manifesto is, this is important to me as an independent MP. The President is a State president and represents everyone, and his mandate is to be able to govern the country.
“I have done more for Zanu PF than most of them, including Vengi who is a small boy and has lost elections against Shamu. He has not done anything for youths.”
Last month, Ziyambi launched a scathing attack on Musengi for fanning divisions and attempting to grab lucrative gold mines using the party name.
Musengi is widely seen as a possible contender for the provincial chairmanship position.