Mliswa arrested as mini poll gets nasty

via Mliswa arrested as mini poll gets nasty – DailyNews Live 13 April 2015 by Mugove Tafirenyika

HARARE – As the battle for the Hurungwe West constituency turns increasingly nasty, former Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland West, Temba Mliswa, was arrested while visiting the constituency yesterday, where he is standing as an independent candidate in the forthcoming June 10 by-election.

The outspoken former legislator for the constituency told the Daily News in a telephone interview last night, from Magunje Police Station where he was being detained, that he was being charged with interfering with an authorised Zanu PF meeting in the area.

Mliswa said police pounced on him while he was greeting his supporters at a shopping centre near Nyamhunga Secondary School, where the ruling party — which was holding a meeting there — accused him of interference.

He said the Zanu PF meeting had been poorly attended — a development that he claimed had incensed the ruling party and partisan law enforcement agents.

“As I arrived at the shops to buy a few items, supporters came to greet me but the police were not happy with the reception I got and they arrested me. I will be appearing in court tomorrow (today) in Karoi,” the distraught Mliswa said.

He claimed that besides being arrested, some Zanu PF youths had also assaulted his supporters but had “predictably” not been arrested.

However, Mashonaland West Provincial police spokesperson, Clement Mabgweazara, claimed that he knew nothing about the arrest of the former MP.

“I do not know anything about that. I have not heard about that alleged arrest,” Mabgweazara said.

Mliswa was recalled from Parliament last month, along with his uncle and former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, after they were controversially booted out of the warring ruling party on allegations of plotting with former vice president Joice Mujuru to topple and assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

But Mliswa is bidding for a comeback in the constituency after filing his papers with the nomination court last week to stand as an independent candidate.

He has also recently claimed that Zanu PF had deployed armed police and members of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in the constituency, who were allegedly intimidating his supporters.

Addressing journalists in Harare two weeks ago, Mliswa described the forthcoming by-election as a case of “the State versus” him.

“Zanu PF has no capacity to mobilise and that is why they have always resorted to assistance from the State apparatus to force people to attend their rallies and vote for them. But even with rigging, they will lose in Hurungwe West,” Mliswa said.

Over the years, the opposition has accused Mugabe and Zanu PF of abusing State institutions to further their political interests.

“I will not be campaigning in Hurungwe for fear that people will be victimised, there will be terror and we know that despite their intimidation tactics they have been failing to get people to buy into their preferred candidates. There will be no T-shirts because people will be victimised,” Mliswa said then.