By Idah Mhetu
NORTON legislator Temba Mliswa was Saturday booed by MDC delegates for saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC leader Nelson Chamisa needed each other for the country’s long envisaged national dialogue process to finally take off ground in earnest.
The fomer Zanu PF Mashonaland West chair and a Mnangagwa admirer was giving a solidarity message during a surprise appearance at the ongoing MDC elective congress in Gweru.
Mliswa was given a rousing applause when he climbed the stage for his solidarity speech but left the same podium amid heckling.
In his speech, the firebrand politician and businessman said Mnangagwa and Chamisa commanded great sentiment within the Zimbabwean populace and needed each other.
He said there was no reason why the two should not find each other and co-exist for the sake of the suffering majority.
Mliswa said current tensions between the two most powerful politicians in the country will eventually dissipate.
“While the politicians are busy fighting, the majority of the people are suffering and we all know that there is a God in Heaven, and I know the dialogue meeting between Mnangagwa and Chamisa will take place and will not be attended by other people. It will just be Mnangwagwa and Chamisa,” he said.
That was enough to ignite boos from MDC followers who have grown increasingly impatient with those seeking to speak positive about President Mnangagwa in the past few weeks.
In a later message he posted on his twitter page, Mliswa stood defiant in defence of his comments and the reception he got from MDC.
“I relate well to the booing I got when I mentioned Emmerson Mnangagwa at the MDC congress it is a wake up call on the need to bring a new culture of tolerance to Zimbabwe’s politics as Nelson Chamisa said afterwards, we are all human and are bound to differ, it doesn’t mean we have to fight,” he said.
On his part, Chamisa warned his followers against the habit of booing people with beliefs which are different to their own.
“He (Mliswa) has a right to differ with us. So we do not accept that kind of behaviour from the people of MDC,” said the MDC leader while thanking Mliswa for gracing his party’s congress.
It is the second time inside a month that MDC supporters have heckled a speaker off stage for attempting to speak positive about Mnangagwa.
Earlier this month, MDC supporters interrupted Edwin, son to Morgan Tsvangirai during the late founding MDC leader’s Buhera memorial when he tried to thank Mnangagwa for offering material assistance towards the event.
Chamisa had to come in again to plead with his supporters to be more tolerant.