FORMER Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman and ex-legislator for Hurungwe West, Temba Mliswa has called for the formation of a grand coalition between opposition parties and disgruntled former ruling party members to dislodge President Robert Mugabe’s regime in the 2018 general elections.
Mliswa, who was expelled from Zanu PF together with ex-Headlands MP Didymus Mutasa, said Mugabe’s administration was “too corrupt” and had no capacity to turn around the economy, hence the need for fresh blood into the country’s body politic.
“The powers that be have failed to produce an answer. In 2018, there is going to be a grand coalition and Zanu PF will split,” Mliswa told journalists in Harare last week.
“I don’t see a single party making the majority. There is going to be a grand coalition and Hurungwe West has set the pace.”
Mliswa added that a grand coalition with “competent” people, leaders from the MDC-T among others would certainly dislodge Zanu PF, singling out Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa and Harare West MP Jessie Majome — both MDC-T — as potential drivers of the grand coalition project.
Mliswa also denounced the intimidation tactics applied by Zanu PF during past elections, claiming state security agents were responsible for the recent abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara.
Contacted for comment over Mliswa’s proposal, MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said: “We have always said that we welcome the unity of purpose for all progressive forces. We won’t discriminate against any member of society who wants to unite with us for the sake of removing Zanu PF.”
On his expulsion from Zanu PF, Mliswa said: “For me it was a blessing in disguise that I was actually expelled from the party. I wouldn’t associate myself with a gay movement. I wouldn’t associate myself with a corrupt movement; an institution which has no compassion, so the expulsion is well-received. I am going to stand for Hurungwe West as an independent candidate. I have already started campaigning. You don’t have to belong to a party for you to represent the people.”
He added: “You must have the people’s interests and I am glad to say Hurungwe West people are the people whose interests I have. I don’t have to belong to a party to transform people’s lives. I will win the elections even if they rig.”
Mliswa said Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo was under pressure to handle the embarrassing loss which he will hand down to Zanu PF on June 10.
Meanwhile, a paltry 3 000 people out of a potential 19 000 voters turned up to vote last Thursday in the Zanu PF primary elections in Mashonaland West that were necessitated by the expulsion of Mliswa from the party.
Mliswa said he was confident of retaining the seat as an independent candidate. Community leaders in the constituency have also recently expressed their support of the fiery politician.
Affirmative Action Group (AAG) president Keith Guzha won the Zanu PF primary elections, polling just 1 003 votes in elections which were marred by serious voter apathy.
Second best was Kambuzuma Chinjai who got 870 votes, followed by Marlver Chimutashu with 455 votes. Mathew Tichaona polled 234 votes, Enock Chigiya (215), Lancelot Koronga (135), Dorcas Bere (125), Patrick Maponga (58), Tinezvi Mahere (53) and Robert Tichareva (45).
Commenting on the statistics, Mliswa said the game was over for Zanu PF.
“As you can see in 2013 I had more than 9 000 votes — a clear indication that if they are failing to mobilise their own members, what more other voters from parties like MDC,” said Mliswa.
Guzha will face off with the popular Mliswa who has confirmed contesting as an independent candidate. There are 19 districts in the predominantly Zanu PF constituency with a total of 19 000 registered voters.
Guzha switched bases from Magunje constituency where he lost to Frank Ndambakuwa in the 2013 primary elections to face Mliswa in an election pencilled for 10 June.
In the 2013 primary elections Mliswa polled 9 045 votes ahead of Dorcas Bere who came second with 465 votes.