By Jermaine Ndlovu
Former Zanu PF chair for Mashonaland West Temba Mliswa has made a u-turn on earlier vows he will never go back to Zanu PF, telling journalists in Bulawayo weekend he will consider rejoining a party that expelled him if it won next year’s elections.
Mliswa was in 2015 expelled along with several party bigwigs who included then Vice President Joice Mujuru for being part of an alleged plot to dethrone President Robert Mugabe.
His expulsion saw him lose his seat as party MP for Hurungwe West.
Through his outspokenness against President Mugabe’s dictatorial rule and tacit approval for high level corruption in government, Mliswa miraculously warned his way into the hearts of Mugabe’s opposition rivals.
The former fitness trainer was in October last year elected back to parliament but via a Norton by-election in which he contested as an independent.
His victory and first such Zanu PF defeat in many by-elections was credited to support he received from the MDC-T following its poll boycott stance.
During the period, Mliswa has insisted he will never rejoin Zanu PF.
But it took a trip to Bulawayo this weekend for the controversial politician to tell the world he would consider rejoining a party that gave him an illustrious but turbulent career as a prominent politician.
“From what’s on the ground Zanu PF is more powerful than all the opposition parties and they stand a better chance of winning next year,” Mliswa said.
“I will say this for the first time, come 2018 if Zanu PF is still in power I am going to rejoin them, if you can’t beat them, join them and I am not going to waste my time on that.
“I have more than 10 years in politics and come 2018 and if Zanu PF wins why I should start anything new, I am going to join the party.”
Since his expulsion from Zanu PF, Mliswa has been making conflicting signals about his political future.
When he was expelled, he declared he was going to bounce back to the ruling party, insisting Zanu PF has welcomed back before, its former rejects among them Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo.
Mliswa turned around again, and was in November quoted saying he would rather die than rejoin Zanu PF.
This was after images of him and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere circulated through social media with the former allies turned rivals looking cosy in each other’s company.
Mliswa was quick to say this was during a visit to Kasukuwere’s government offices to discuss the issuing of stands to war veterans in his constituency.
The fiery politician and businessman has also been seen with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai whom he has said was the best opposition leader to front a planned grand coalition to challenge Zanu PF next year.
Few months later, Mliswa was linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction within Zanu PF.
He was later linked to Zimbabwe People First, which comprises a group of former Zanu PF elders who had broken ranks with Mujuru