HARARE – Temba Mliswa, a former Zanu PF bigwig who now leads the Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard) pressure group, has scoffed at threats by Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere to seize his farm.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at a rally at Chikangwe Stadium in Karoi, Kasukuwere said the former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman and Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa, had nothing to offer.
Kasukuwere, who is also Local Government minister, threatened to subdivide Mliswa’s Spring Farm on the outskirts of Karoi and distribute the residential stands to Zanu PF supporters.
“There are youths who are following Temba Mliswa, do not follow him,” Kasukuwere said.
“We want to look at his farm if it is close to Karoi, we want to take it and make sure we get stands and see what happens. Yes kana wakanda chibhakera wotosimba. Kana wakanda chibhakera ku Zanu PF tinovhika but kana takudzosera tinorova paunonyatsozwa kuti ka chapinda (If you pick a quarrel with Zanu PF you must be prepared for a big fight because we hit where it hurts the most),” Kasukuwere said.
“Do not follow his Yard because it’s a back yard.”
But Mliswa scoffed at Kasukuwere’s threats yesterday.
“I am not moved by Kasukuwere’s populist but foolish Zanu PF opinion because it is not government policy,” Mliswa told the Daily News.
“The land reform was a government programme and I am a holder of a 99-year lease.
“That is a Zanu PF problem to deal with, such loose cannons that contradict their desire to attract foreign direct investment when their officials do not respect property rights.”
He added that Kasukuwere as Zanu PF political commissar was feeling the effects of not having him in Zanu PF ranks as he was struggling to attract supporters for the party in the province.
“I know it’s pretty cold to come to Mashonaland West without Mliswa. He is feeling the chilly weather, especially of Hurungwe West, because they cannot attract any support without me.
“I own the province, my heart is in Hurungwe West, and they cannot do anything about it,” Mliswa said.
Following Mliswa’s decision to stand against Zanu PF as an independent candidate in the Hurungwe West by-election after he was expelled last year, party youths invaded his farm, allegedly attacking indiscriminately any person remotely linked to Mliswa, including his workers.
Business at Mliswa’s sprawling properties — that include a service station, a restaurant, a thriving farm and a lodge — was brought to a halt as the boisterous youths vowed to take it as a way of punishing the outspoken legislator, who dared challenge the deeply-divided ruling party as an independent candidate for Hurungwe West in the by-elections.
The Zanu PF yobs only left after the intervention of the courts.
In his address, Kasukuwere who was visibly angry, said Mliswa had nothing to offer except stammering.
“He has always been like that; he has nothing to offer except stammering, noise and claiming to know everything.
“He once claimed that he had invented cricket, that he had manufactured Dynamos and farmers,” Kasukuwere said.