By Staff Reporter
INCUMBENT Temba Mliswa’s hold on the Norton Parliamentary seat will be tested in the upcoming general election when Richard Tsvangirai, son to late pro-democracy icon Morgan Tsvangirai, contests him.
Richard, a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) member and loyal follower of party leader Nelson Chamisa, has already started his campaign despite the party’s silence over the issue.
Unlike his brother Vincent who aligned himself with MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora after an expected but grand 2020 fall out, Richard has been rooting for Chamisa since his return from Australia.
Independent Mliswa on the other hand, is regarded as one of the most vocal and hardworking Members of Parliament (MP), setting up an intriguing battle between him and the CCC.
A campaign poster circulating on Facebook promises; “Ethical leadership, demonstrating fairness, honesty and integrity.”
After expulsion of then Norton MP Chris Mutsvangwa from Zanu PF, Mliswa beat the ruling party’s Ronald Chindedza by over 2,000 votes to claim the constituency for the first time.
He was to beat Mutsvangwa, who had just been appointed Presidential Advisor, upon his return to the satellite town in 2018.
Said Mliswa in response to the Tsvangirai reports: “Can CCC clarify if they have done primary elections. Seems they have dumped 2018 losing candidate Samuel Matemera and chosen Richard.
“If that is so I would like to thank you for the 7,000 votes which Matemera got in 2018 and have now swayed my way.”
A former Zanu PF provincial chairperson, Mliswa has enjoyed on-off relations with the ruling and opposition parties which backed him in past electoral triumphs.
Meanwhile, following its formation in 2022, the CCC announced that it would do away with internal votes to decide who stands at elections but instead allow residents to choose candidates for themselves.
Richard has been visiting sections of the Norton community in a bid to endear himself to constituents and set up a possible upset for Mliswa.