via Mliswa salutes ‘brave’ voters – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 15, 2015
Hurungwe West losing independent candidate Temba Mliswa says he prides himself for a brave fight against Zanu PF’s alleged “rigging machinery” despite his failure to retain the seat in last week’s by-election.
BY NUNURAI JENA
The former Zanu PF legislator saluted the 4 255 “brave” voters who defied intimidation, threats and assaults to cast their votes in his favour.
Mliswa last Wednesday narrowly lost the Hurungwe West parliamentary by-election to Zanu PF candidate Keith Guzah.
“With what they went through, hats off to the more than 4 000 brave voters who defied all odds and made their choice known despite massive intimidation, threats and assaults . . . it’s quite a good number to liberate others,” he said.
The former Zanu PF provincial chairman said the electorate in Hurungwe West desperately needed counselling for trauma after enduring several weeks of terror by Zanu PF supporters in the run-up to the by-election.
Mliswa urged Guzah to concentrate on uniting the people as they were seriously divided by “politics of hate, divide and rule”.
“It’s unfortunate that we are back in the old days where a culture of violence was created and aided by the law enforcement agents maybe that’s how they are promoted . . . the people were overwhelmed by the violence,” he said.
“It clearly showed that we have a Zanu PF black (Ian) Smith government presiding over us, but we need all democratic forces to come together and fight the corrupt system.”
He said for now, he would remove his foot off the pedal and concentrate on his businesses and private studies before launching a political comeback in the 2018 general elections.
Hurungwe West was flagged as one of the most volatile constituencies ahead of the by-elections as Zanu PF was accused of using security forces to intimidate voters as it desperately tried to hang on to the seat.
Mliswa is one of the Zanu PF MPs expelled for allegedly working with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru in a plot to topple President Robert Mugabe.
Mujuru has denied the charges and six months after she was dismissed from government, the former Zanu PF heavyweight has not been charged of any offences.