Former Zanu PF legislator, Temba Mliswa says the abduction of Occupy Africa Unity Square activist and former journalist, Itai Dzamara, is tarnishing President Robert Mugabe’s image as chairman of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community.
Addressing journalists today, Mliswa who announced that he would contest the forthcoming by-election in Hurungwe West as an independent candidate, said it Dzamara’s alleged abduction was ill-advised.
He said Dzamara, who was allegedly abducted by suspected state security agents 25 days ago, must be released and be allowed to stand for what he believes.
Mliswa who was expelled from Zanu PF together with several others following claims that they wanted to topple President Mugabe, said he was confident of winning the Hurungwe West by-elections.
He said the ruling Zanu PF was corrupt and had lost its values and principles and people of Hurungwe West had lost confidence in the party.
Mliswa said he cannot hold campaign rallies because he doesn’t want to expose his supporters to Zanu PF violence. On threats by some state officials to seize his farm, he said Zanu PF was free to grab it.
He claimed that while Zanu PF programs such the land reform and indigenization schemes were noble, they were now being manipulated by corrupt individuals in the ruling party.
Mliswa, who on Wednesday together with former Presidential Affairs Minister Didmus Mutasa lost their constitutional bid to be reinstated into Zanu and parliament, said his expulsion was a blessing in disguise.
The former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson vowed that he would never rejoice the party.
Zanu PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo could not be reached for comment as he said to be in a meeting.
Some political commentators said Mliswa and others crying foul from outside the political sphere of Zanu PF were simply bitter that they had been kicked out of the party.
Independent political analyst Charles Mangongera said if Mliswa and others really stood for good governance and accountability, they should have left the party long ago.
By-elections are expected be held in Hurungwe West and 15 other constituencies in June.
Some legal experts say the holding of these by-elections is unconstitutional but law expert Lovemore Madhuku says there is nothing the country can do as the law does not provide remedy for not holding the elections.
The constitution stipulates that such elections be held with 90 days from the day the seats are declared vacant. It also states in Section 156 that an act of parliament is supposed to pave the way for holding any elections in Zimbabwe to be conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Zimbabwe still needs to align almost 400 old laws with the new constitution, which include electoral pieces of legislation and others.