FORMER Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman and aspiring Norton constituency candidate Temba Mliswa has called on leading figures in the former freedom fighters community to wrest the seat from the ruling party.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Mliswa told NewsDay yesterday he had solicited support from Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA)secretary-general Victor Matemadanda and former chairman Jabulani Sibanda as he prepares to launch a door-door campaign at the weekend.
“It is true. I have asked Matemadanda and Sibanda to help me because we cannot separate it from the liberation struggle. It is also important that they speak on the next course of action and Zimbabweans want to reclaim the country they have always wished for and deserve from Zanu PF.
“With what is going on, it is important that the freedom fighters speak to the people,” Mliswa said.
War veterans have broken ranks with Zanu PF and the relationship between the party and the former freedom fighters hit an all-time low following the release of a scathing communiqué urging President Robert Mugabe to resign.
Sibanda was fired from Zanu PF as part of the purge that swept away former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and a host of her supporters or alleged sympathisers beginning in 2014, with tremors still being felt to this day.
Matemadanda was not reachable yesterday, while Sibanda was not willing to comment, but Mliswa insisted they had given “a commitment to attend”.
Mliswa, in his main poster for the October 22 by-election called to fill the vacancy left following the axing of former Cabinet minister and ZNLWVA chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa, has also invoked liberation war icons Josiah Tongogara and Alfred Nikita Mangena with their pictures prominent. The former Hurungwe West MP said Zimbabwe’s first and second Chimurenga heroes would frown at what the country had become under Zanu PF.
“It is important to remind our leaders when they are going astray that the struggle was not about them, but the people. We need to remind them of the values the likes of Tongogara, Nikita Mangena and Mbuya Nehanda died for,” he said.
“The struggle was about multi-party democracy. This is a reminder to the powers-that-be that even in death national heroes like Tongogara and Mangena are watching and would frown at what they see.”
Tongogara and Mangena were revered commanders of the liberation struggle, while Nehanda, whose picture with Sekuru Kaguvi also adorns Mliswa’s poster, was hanged alongside Kaguvi for leading the first anti-colonial struggle at the end of the 19th century.