Following reports of a spike in cases of political violence in Hurungwe West constituency involving suspected Zanu PF activists, NewsDay (ND)’s Nunurai Jena at the weekend caught up with Zanu PF parliamentary candidate for the area, Mary Thandiwe Mliswa (MTM) to clear the air on her party’s alleged involvement in the skirmishes.
By NUNURAI JENA
ND: What’s your comment on reports that your supporters were involved in the alleged abduction of MDC-T branch chairperson Frank Hwirayi Chauya of Gotea village?
MTM: We as Zanu PF we don’t know where this is coming from.
Chingurunguru area is the most peaceful area in the constituency, but from what we are hearing from the village head Aron Goteka, it was a domestic issue where Chauya tried to make sexual advances to a married woman and he was beaten up, so he falsely came up with this political violence issue. Chauya was even summoned by headman Goteka on Saturday and apologized to the family he had offended.
ND: Has there been cases of violence during this current political campaign?
MTM: Not really save for few a cases where our campaign posters have been pulled down by MDC-T members and for the record we reported the cases at
Magunje Police Station and one of the culprits will appear in court on Monday (yesterday).
ND: What are your chances of winning in Hurungwe West?
MTM: My chances of winning are very high. I’m on the ground working with the people, I have even started doing work in Hurungwe West. Some projects are going on there and we are rehabilitating the boreholes. The projects that were left unfinished by my brother Temba, we picked them up and we are moving forward because they were fantastic projects, so we have to carry on the good work.
ND: Some say that you are riding on your brother’s popularity in Hurungwe?
MTM: How can I ride on the popularity of Temba Mliswa when I’m Mary Mliswa. Temba is in Norton, I’m in Hurungwe West – two totally different constituencies. I have worked so hard in Hurungwe, the people know me and they know what I’m capable of and I’m on the ground, I love the people, I work with them.
Temba’s relationship with the people of Hurungwe is different from my relationship with them. My relationship is of a mother who is caring and who encompasses everyone from the main board, the youth and to the women. So I cannot ride on anyone’s crest I have to create my own relationships with the people.
ND: How do you politically compare yourself with Temba??
MTM: Being of the Shumba totem yes, the lioness is more vicious and the lioness is more protective of the pride and I’m more protective of Hurungwe West. I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen in Hurungwe West when I’m there, I will take all the blows and I will protect the people of Hurungwe.
ND: Initially the Zanu PF leadership in the province was not comfortable with your candidature, what is the position now?
MTM: We are all one family in Zanu PF, we have all reconciled and we are working together and we are doing programmes together which is a good thing.
If there is anyone out there who is not happy, I’m saying to them come and be part of the family, and let us be together.