HARARE – Temba Mliswa, the newly-elected Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland West, says his election was preordained by God in spite of what he called “persecution” by fellow comrades opposed to his leadership.
Likening himself to the biblical David, Mliswa told the Daily News yesterday that the hotly-contested elections in which he triumphed over, among others, the outgoing chairperson John Mafa and flamboyant businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, had proved to his party foes that “leadership was ordained from above regardless of obstacles.”
The Hurungwe West House of Assembly member, who is reportedly aligned to Vice President Joice Mujuru’s camp in the race to succeed President Robert Mugabe, is on record claiming that Mafa had unsuccessfully tried to block his candidature for the parliamentary seat in July.
He also claimed he was being persecuted for his political ambitions when he was arrested last year on allegations of mobilising party members who allegedly assaulted the then provincial Women’s League boss, Hurungwe East legislator, Sarah Mahoka at Zvimonja Business Centre.
Mafa and Mahoka, who are allegedly linked to the rival Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s camp, deny the allegations, with the former saying he in fact approved Mliswa’s candidacy.
“I belong to the Bob faction and nothing else,” said Mahoka, who lost her post to Constance Shamu.
“If it is Mliswa who has a faction, I do not know. But what I know is he assaulted me at Zvimonja and that will be solved by the courts. If he is found guilty, then he will have to quit his post but if he is not, then we will work with him.”
Despite enemies within, Mliswa was basking in glory.
“This is sweet victory given the trials and tribulations that I have gone through,” Mliswa said.
“The road I travelled was littered with banana peels but thank heavens, like the biblical David, I triumphed ahead of them because of providence.
“In the first book of Samuel, it is written let our Lord command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man who is a cunning player on a harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shall be well.”
Mliswa dismissed claims that he was Mujuru’s shock trooper in the province, saying he simply belongs to Zanu PF not a faction within the party.
Mliswa said he would work to unite the so-called factions despite the fact that some of them were involved in alleged plots to block his ascendancy.
“It is a fact that I was persecuted for a long time by my colleagues including being dragged to the courts for trumped up charges but I managed to swim to safety,” Mliswa said.