NORTON legislator Temba Mliswa (Independent) was yesterday arrested while addressing a Press conference in Harare where he attacked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s allies, Local Government minister July Moyo and State Security minister Owen Ncube saying they were divisive figures.
Mliswa was arrested for violating COVID-19 lockdown measures by holding an illegal gathering, according to a statement later released by police.
At the time of going to print last night, he was still detained at Borrowdale Police Station.
Addressing journalists before his arrest, Mliswa accused Ncube of heading a security team plotting the demise of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.
“It is well-documented that they had a politburo meeting, where security was there trying to implicate Chiwenga in the factions of Zanu PF, forgetting that Chiwenga is a key player on the President being in power. How can he suddenly turn against the President?” Mliswa queried.
The politburo meeting referred to by Mliswa was held in August last year and ended with the expulsion of the party’s health secretary Claveria Chizema and the late former Mbare MP, Tendai Savanhu, after they were allegedly nabbed by security agents with fliers proposing Chiwenga as Mnangagwa’s successor.
At the time, Zanu PF issued a statement saying there were attempts by party insiders to saw seeds of disunity between Chiwenga and Mnangagwa but did not name those involved.
Yesterday, Mliswa accused Moyo, seen as a long time Mnangagwa loyalist, of harbouring presidential ambitions.
“You talk of July Moyo who loses a parliamentary election (but) is on the job (Local Government minister) at the mercy of the President,” Mliswa said.
“Why would I even want to talk about July when I win elections, beating his party (Zanu PF), I mean July Moyo who is well-known for being ambitious. July Moyo who the President himself knows convened a meeting of the vaRozvi chiefs so that he could be in power, it’s well-known”.
He accused the two ministers of lacking political capital, resulting in Mnangagwa sinking at the hands of former First Lady Grace Mugabe without coming to his defence.
“I have challenged him (Moyo) to say, you have no political capital to support the President, I say so because I am one person who supports the President, who has always stood by the President.
“They could not stand by the President when (the late former President Robert) Mugabe was in power. They were quiet. Where did you ever see July Moyo uttering a word in the central committee supporting ED? Where did you see Owen “Mudha” Ncube supporting ED other than going to the farm and gossiping?
“Why do they now want to bring me into the factional fights of Zanu PF?”
Mliswa warned Mnangagwa that his Midlands compatriots were plotting his downfall.
“Kwekwe, Midlands has destroyed the President, all the people around him in the DCC [district co-ordinating committee] elections lost, so where is their political capital at the end of the day, what are they doing around the President?” he asked.
Responding to allegations raised by Susan Mutami, an Australia-based woman, that he wanted to kill Mnangagwa’s son Emmerson Junior, Mliswa described his ex-girlfriend as a deranged woman who was being abused by the CIO [Central Intelligence Organisation].
Meanwhile, National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku also addressed a Press conference at the Media Centre in Harare but was not arrested for violating COVID-19 regulations.
Madhuku told reporters that no dialogue would take place outside the Political Actors Dialogue, a position that resonates with Mnangagwa’s stance on the possible dialogue with the opposition MDC Alliance.