WASHINGTON DC —
Some Zanu PF supporters in Hurungwe West are backing ousted party provincial chairman for Mashonaland West Province, Temba Mliswa, to contest in the forthcoming by-elections in Mt. Darwin as an independent.
Speaking at a meeting held in the area at the weekend, local people said they are not happy that Mliswa was expelled from the party following his alleged links with a Zanu PF faction allegedly led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
They said if a by-election is held in the constituency, Mliswa should contest the poll as an independent as he has done a lot for local people.
Headman Modekai Chareya told the meeting that indications are that almost everyone in Hurungwe West wants Mliswa to contest as an independent.
In his response, Mliswa said he had not yet been informed by his party that he has been kicked out of parliament following his expulsion.
“I will listen to what people want since they are the ones that vote,” said Mliswa.
The call for him to contest as an independent was backed by a person, who only wanted to be identified as Air Marshal. He told the meeting that Mliswa is a candidate of their choice and nobody is expected to cause friction in the party in the area as the war of liberation was over.
The meeting was attended by members of the Youth and Women’s League, chiefs, headmen, kraalheads and war veterans.
Zimbabwe's constitution clearly stipulates that a Member of Parliament loses his seat if the person is recalled by his or her party.
Zanu PF has not yet written a letter to parliament informing the august house about the expulsion of Mliswa, who was expelled on the same day with former secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa.
Mutasa still maintains that he was expelled by a group of friends and acquaintances that hijacked the party’s elective congress in December last year and manipulated the Zanu PF constitution to put each other in key positions.
They were expelled by Zanu PF’s supreme decision-making body outside congress, the Politburo, soon after First Lady Grace Mugabe returned from an almost two-month stay in Asia where she had initially gone for a holiday with her husband, President Mugabe, and family.
She was later hospitalized for an appendix medical procedure before going back home.
Some critics say Mrs. Mugabe is now in control of the party following the ouster of Mrs. Mujuru and several provincial chairmen, and the expulsion of former party spokesman Rugare Gumbo and several others.
They were accused by a faction of the party said to be linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa of trying to remove Mr. Mugabe from power using unconstitutional ways.
They have denied any wrong-doing saying these were machinations of the Mnangagwa faction to control the party in a succession battle that has seen the first lady playing a critical role in restructuring Zanu PF.
President Mugabe, 91, has been running the country since independence from British rule in 1980.