Norton Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Temba Mliswa has declared war on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s advisor Christopher Mutsvangwa.
The two are set to face off in a titanic contest for the Norton National Assembly seat in the forthcoming elections.
The pair set the stage for what could be a bruising contest when they were involved in a near fist-fight at an anti-cholera event in Norton on Saturday over who should have given the vote of thanks.
It had to take the intervention of police to restrain Mliswa as he lunged at Mutsvangwa, accusing him of hijacking the occasion to announce his parliamentary bid for the Norton seat.
Mutsvangwa, a former MP for the constituency, dismissed Mliswa as a non-entity and referred to his Norton constituency as a “borrowed seat”.
Reached for comment yesterday, Mutsvangwa said “ah . . . mipengo inonetsa (crazy people are a problem).” He did not comment any further.
Mliswa and the presidential advisor’s short-lived friendship blossomed last year as the Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) campaigned for Mliswa’s ascendency in the Norton by-elections.
The seat had fallen vacant following the expulsion of Mutsvangwa from Zanu PF.
The garrulous Mliswa yesterday said Mutsvangwa’s return to Zanu PF did not give him an automatic ticket for the Norton seat.
“Mutsvangwa is advised to enter the Norton political arena on his own merit and not rely on his proximity to the president to gain him any measure of political capital.
“The bullying through job title, perceived powers and usurping of positions needs to be nipped in the bud before resurfacing of the violence tag often associated with Zanu PF is allowed to rear its ugly head,” Mliswa said.
“On Saturday, Mashonaland West war vets met to discuss their welfare. Chair Mutsvangwa was to attend but he snubbed his meeting preferring to cause havoc in Norton.
“But then again what contribution would he have made as far removed from their needs as he is?
“Welfare is not top of his agenda. Leaders like Mutsvangwa, who only think of their members when they need to use them but unceremoniously discard them when in a stable position, are treacherous and a discredit to the war veterans.
“It’s time war vets introspected as to the qualities of their leader.
“Well, Mutsvangwa, it’s shots fired and you caught me unaware, well done.
“However, take note, the minority will have their say but the majority will always have their way.
“It is only a matter of time and may the best man win and I hope you will be able to congratulate me when that happens.