Norton Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa, who is accused by his girlfriend of attempting to poison President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, was arrested at his Borrowdale home in Harare today and charged with violating COVID-19 regulations.
In a statement posted on Twitter, police said Mliswa violated some COVID-19 regulations by holding an unlawful meeting “knowing that such gathering was unlawful.”
He allegedly contravened Section 5(3)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment (National Lockdown) (Consolidation and Amendment Order 2020 of Statutory Instrument 200/2020 as read with Statutory 10 of 2021.
In his warned and cautioned statement, Mliswa denied the allegations levelled against him saying he held the press conference at his residence and not at a public place.
“…Number 21 Domboshava Road is a private residence … l did not convene the said gathering as it was convened by the Media Centre. Only 20 journalists were in attendance whilst the threshold for the regulation is 30 people.”
Mliswa’s girlfriend, Susan Mutami, claims that the legislator attempted to poison Mnangagwa’s son and is a corrupt politician.
A furious Mliswa threatened to punish journalists for publishing his messy breakup with his girlfriend, saying in future he will advocate a law to deal with lying media practitioners.
In the video captured by some media organizations, he said, “if ever there is a time I’m gonna move a motion in parliament against journalists to be given five years is this time around because at all you cannot rule by the stroke of the pen and lie. We stand for you when you are arrested for lying. We say it’s unfair. We stand for you. We defend you because we believe you are key but now as a legislator I’m forced to protect the innocent person and not me by those who abuse the stroke of the pen.
“There must be a law that has got to come in and you know that the ruling party has always wanted to curtail you. I will move the motion. They have two thirds and the bill will pass. You cannot get away with it. This must be a new era of journalism where laws will be enacted to protect the innocent people from journalists who are unethical. There must be a prize journalists pay for being unethical and a law must be there if a man who steals eight cattle is given nine years there must also be a law that if a journalist is not factual it must be five years … This is as good as putting someone in prison for life unknowingly, recklessly for the love of money, for the love of the brown envelope which has become now the norm in journalism today.”
Mliswa is expected to appear in court Friday.