NORTON’s newly-elected independent legislator, Temba Mliswa, has thrown his weight behind opposition MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to lead the proposed grand coalition of opposition forces, saying Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, was unfit to steward the project, because she had a history of betraying her own.
BY NUNURAI JENA
Mliswa, who romped to victory after thumping Zanu PF’s Ronald Chindedza in a by-election held at the weekend, described Tsvangirai as a “tried and tested brand”, adding Mujuru was yet to show her mettle in the political numbers’ game.
“Mujuru cannot lead the coalition simply because she has no following like Tsvangirai. But more importantly, she has a history of betraying her own and has no spine to protect her supporters. Mujuru has no following, she was never voted at Zanu PF congresses, but handpicked by President Robert Mugabe. Don’t count the votes she is said to have garnered as MP because those are Zanu PF votes which will not help us come 2018,” he said.
The former Hurungwe West Zanu PF legislator thanked the MDC-T and Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party for backing him in the Norton by-election, but warned Tsvangirai not to allow Mujuru to lead the envisaged coalition “because that will chase away people”.
But, ZimPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire scoffed at Mliswa’s remarks.
“Mliswa should know and realise that the people who voted for him are people who belong to other political parties. That is the reason why Mliswa roped in (ZimPF founding member) Didymus Mutasa and MDC-T vice-president, Nelson Chamisa, to campaign for him,” Mawarire said.
“He (Mliswa) must also understand that a coalition is for political parties, not individuals.”
Mujuru and Tsvangirai have both staked claims to lead the envisaged coalition.