PRO-DEMOCRACY activists, Linda Masarira and Abigale Mubambi have distanced themselves from Norton’s independent legislator, Temba Mliswa’s planned third force project to field independent parliamentary candidates in all the country’s 210 constituencies in the 2018 general elections.
BY SILAS NKALA
Masarira said Mliswa had invited her to be part of the project, which critics say is designed to divide opposition votes in favour of the ruling Zanu PF party.
“Mliswa called me on January 2, 2017 and encouraged me to run for office in 2018, as it would enable me to correct the injustices I vigilantly fight against,” she explained.
“I never made a commitment to join the third force and neither am I a member of the same.”
Masarira said she was not interested in unnecessary politicking.
“My energy and focus is in restoring order and sanity in my beloved Zimbabwe and not in unnecessary politicking in the quest for power,” she said.
“I believe in people power and that people should be the drivers of their independence from dictatorship and oppression. No one has a monopoly on the struggle.”
But Mliswa was adamant Masarira had committed to the cause.
“We have evidence including communication and undertakings she made. Write what you have and we will respond appropriately,” he said.
Early this week, Mliswa announced plans to roll out a third force, saying a steering committee had been set up to receive and verify applications from aspiring independent parliamentary candidates.
Masarira rose to prominence last year following her arrest and detention for 80 days for allegedly participating in a series of anti-government protests aimed at forcing President Robert Mugabe to stepdown over his failed economic policies.
This Constitution leader, Mubambi said she was not consulted and did not wish to be part of the project.
“I note with shock and concern the existence of my name in the third force, which seems to be housing or prepared to be custodian of independent candidates and aspiring to be independent candidates ahead of the 2018 elections,” she said.