FIRED former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman and Hurungwe West independent candidate Temba Mliswa was arrested at Sengwe business centre yesterday and allegedly charged with disrupting the ruling party’s meeting.
Mliswa was still in police custody by the time of going to print last night.
by NUNURAI JENA
His campaign team member Farayi Kuvheya said they were taken to Magunje Police Station and charged with interfering with an authorised meeting.
“We were just moving around the constituency organising our campaign teams at Sengwe Township 500 metres away from Nyamhunga School where Zanu PF was holding a rally,” Kuvheya said.
He claimed that some people at the business centre mobbed Mliswa, assuring him that they would vote him in the by-election scheduled for June 10.
“Mliswa’s mob attracted people who were going to the rally, prompting the police to arrest him and members of his team,” Kuvheya said.
Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara refused to comment on the issue.
Mliswa is contesting the by-election against Zanu PF candidate Keith Guzah.
The constituency has of late become a favourate hunting ground for Zanu PF heavyweights who have made various pledges to the electorate during campaigns for Guzah.
The National Constitutional Assembly which participated in recent by-elections held in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe and Mt Darwin West, did not field a candidate hoping to give Mliswa an opportunity to defend his forte.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo and national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere were among some top ruling party officials who have held rallies in the constituency where they have publicly denounced Mliswa and promised to upgrade public infrastructure.
“We will bring four graders to rehabilitate roads in the constituency and each ward will have new boreholes drilled,” Kasukuwere said at a recent rally in the constituency.
Chombo also told Zanu PF supporters that the farming inputs that Mliswa distributed recently were not his, but came from government.
Mliswa was expelled from both Zanu PF and Parliament a few weeks ago on charges of fanning factionalism and sympathising with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Guzah is the current Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial vice-chairperson and former president of the Affirmative Action Group.
Zanu PF, according to observers, was working hard to ensure that the seat located in President Robert Mugabe’s home province backyard remained under its control.
Mliswa, who last Wednesday successfully filed his nomination papers, has premised his campaign on his track record in Parliament for the past 20 months.
He also enjoys the backing of traditional leaders, war veterans and other disgruntled Zanu PF members.