FORMER ZANU Mashonaland West chairman Themba Mliswa has appealed to President Robert Mugabe to intervene and make a statement denouncing violence in Hurungwe West ahead of a by-election set for June 10.
Mliswa, who is standing as an independent candidate following his expulsion from the ruling party, made the appeal Monday during a press briefing in Harare.
He told journalists that two village heads are reportedly missing while at least six were harassed and violently beaten up during a meeting in the constituency.
“They have deployed the military and the intelligence in little Hurungwe. Those civil servants who have nothing to do have been bussed into Hurungwe to terrorise villagers.
There was a meeting at the weekend that was convened by Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo and also attended by Philip Chiyangwa, a Central Committee member,” said Mliswa.
“During the meeting Chiyangwa slapped Village Head Kapamara, and five other traditional leaders including Dzuda, Mahobho, Mangisi and Kakwenya. Now we have been informed that two village heads are missing as of last night”.
Chiyangwa would neither deny nor confirm the accusation.
“It is an allegation; I was somewhere else doing something,” was all Chiyangwa would say when contacted for comment.
On the other hand Chombo dismissed Mliswa as “not serious” but seemed to confirm he attended the emotive meeting.
“I was protected by 15 police officers and was driving myself. Nobody attacked me or any other person. He (Mliswa) must be serious,” Chombo said. “He must report to the police not the media”.
Mliswa said he would be writing to Mugabe to appraise him on the situation.
“How can we send troops on peace keeping missions across the world when we cannot keep peace in our own country? The president last week was condemning South Africans for the xenophobic violence in that country when his lieutenants are terrorizing citizens in his country.
“We will ask him to intervene not only as the country’s president but also as chairman of SADC and the African Union. We are not sending the right message when legislators are attacked left right and center.
First it was Munacho Mutezo in Manicaland and now it is Costa Machingauta in Harare. Shame on this government, shame,” said Mliswa.
Mliswa accused police of lethargy in handling the politically motivated violence cases.
“We have tried to report the attacks to the police but they are not willing to take action and even the weekend attacks happened in full view of the police but they did nothing to protect the people. They are not a Zanu PF police but for all citizens,” he said.
Asked if he was realising the violent nature of Zanu PF now that he has been expelled or he had always known, Mliswa said:
“When I joined the ruling party, I tried to instil non-violence but people have different ideas. Now I realise violence is a culture that is within Zanu PF and it is showing in Hurungwe West”.
Mliswa was expelled from the ruling party on accusations that he was part of a group aligned to former vice president Joice Mujuru that had planned to depose Mugabe prior to the congress last year.