By Darlington Gatsi
INDEPENDENT Norton Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa, was left fuming after suspected Zanu PF hectored him at the funeral of provincial hero Shepherd Tsomondo where the legislator was scheduled to make an address.
The outspoken legislator had to be escorted by the police after suspected Zanu PF supporters threatening to hack him down.
“It’s strange Zanu PF as a party retains an intrinsic belief in the utility of violence in this era. Violence is a liability that loses you the many decisive voters who don’t belong to parties but come to vote,” said Mliswa of the incident.
“The level of disrespect for the bereaved family was astounding. Is the ruling party that desperate and fearful of the opposition or independent candidates?
“This was a State event and you find gatekeeping mindsets that view everything partisanly to the point of violence!
“As long as Zanu PF continues behaving as it did at the funeral, it will never win Norton or any of the urban locations it pines for.
“Urbanites are different from those in rural areas where geography and connectivity creates a dangerous environment for the isolated local people.”
He continued; “In urban areas you cannot coerce people to support you through violence. It won’t work.
“Aside from the practical deficiencies of violence as a political strategy, why is the ruling party accommodative of habits which are contrary to its many statements against violence?” said Temba Mliswa.
The incident comes at a time political temperatures have rising in the lead up to the crunch 2023 general elections with arbitrary arrests of opposition figures.
Analysts warned that the vote could again feature violence clashes despite calls by President Emmerson Mnangagwa free and fair elections during his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Mliswa has since filed a police report, despite accusing the ZRP of failing control the suspected Zanu PF mob.
“I have filed a police report against the violent thugs from Mash West,” said the legislator.
“People should understand that you can be expendable in politics and find yourself in a difficult situation because you are excitable beyond sense and order.
“You should know the limits and not behave criminally over politics. Some of the people for whom you commit crimes are buddies with the supposed opponents.
“They relate as gentlemen and contest through ideas. Politics shouldn’t be a drama of life and death but of ideas.”