The Sunday Mail
Noah Pito in HURUNGWE
FORMER Hurungwe West Member of Parliament Mr Temba Mliswa is bribing traditional leaders to buy allegiance ahead of the June 10 by-elections, Chief Nyamhunga of Hurungwe has alleged.
Chief Nyamhunga accused Mr Mliswa for causing instability and said that some village heads are already revolting against leadership.
Mr Mliswa, who was expelled from Zanu-PF, stands accused of working closely with the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Mr Eric Little to bankroll his political ambitions.
The chief had no kind words for the ousted legislator.
“This young man is causing discord in my area; he is even bribing village heads to defy my orders. I no longer have the respect that I deserve as a chief.
“To justify his presence here he bought a home for US$ 1 500 following a dubious arrangement with a certain widow.
“We have since reversed the transaction since the regulations do not allow land sales in rural areas, this is not Kuwadzana suburb in Harare where you can buy a house at will.
“Ini ndinoda runyararo munzvimbo ino, chivanhu changu muno chiri kukanganisika nekuda kwezvaari kuita mukomana uyu (Mliswa).
“Kupa vana mascud nemari kuti vatuke vakuru handiwo hunhu. Mwana uyu mwana asina matyira uye haana hunhu hwakanaka. Ndiri kukumbira kuti abude zvake mudunhu rangu mhirizhonga nekusagadzikana zvipere (I want peace in my area, he is tampering with the traditions of this area. He gives money and liquor to the youth so that they denigrate elders, that’s bad manners. He must move out of my area so that peace and calm may prevail.”
In response, Mr Mliswa defended himself: “I have over the past decade enjoyed a warm relationship with Hurungwe chiefs.
“I was welcomed in the constituency by a traditional ceremony conducted by the chiefs.
“I am very surprised that as a chief who observes traditional values and customs he would throw all caution to the wind, neglect protocol and choose to run to the media.
“This also begs the questions: ‘Is it a prerequisite for a Member of Parliament to own property in the constituency they represent? And is a Parliamentary seat premised on tribal lines?” said Mliswa.
“Using money to divide the people will be shooting myself in the foot.
“How much would I pay all the people I am accused of bribing?
“I am not rich and I don’t subscribe to such lowly methods of politicking.
“But I know the chiefs are being used by powerful politicians,” he concluded.
The bribery allegations come barely a week after nine of the 12 Hurungwe chiefs protested against Mr Mliswa’s continued presence in the area.
The traditional leaders stormed the Hurungwe District Administrator’s office demanding that Mr Mliswa leave the district immediately, failure of which they would strip and surrender their chieftaincy regalia.
The chiefs complained that Mr Mliswa once attacked them when he told a rally that the “Korekore chiefs were drunkards and gluttons’’.
Questions have since been raised over how Mr Mliswa was allocated Spring Farm in Karoi when the lands committee never issued him an offer letter.