HARARE – Expelled Zanu PF legislator for Hurungwe West, Temba Mliswa, has made sensational claims that Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo wants to grab his Karoi farm as the ruling party’s ugly infighting intensifies.
Mliswa made the claim yesterday as it emerged that miffed party youths who are angered by the defiance of former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa and Mliswa, were also planning to storm and grab the two men’s farms.
But Mliswa charged that it was in fact Chombo who had designs on his farm, rather than party youths as was being claimed.
“Chombo is the one who wants my farm. He wants to expand the town of Karoi but the funny part is that there is a farm between the town and mine, and that farm is owned by Chombo’s present wife,” Mliswa claimed.
Mutasa has pooh-poohed his purported dismissal from the ruling party saying this was null and void as it was passed by an illegal politburo, while Mliswa stands accused of stirring party supporters against Zanu PF leaders since his expulsion from the party was announced last week.
This has angered party hardliners who are currently and expediently intolerant to any perceived resistance to the dictates of President Robert Mugabe and his increasingly influential wife, Grace.
Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that what had particularly incensed some party apparatchiks the most was the “contempt” that Mutasa and his nephew Temba had shown towards Mugabe following their disputed expulsion from the party.
As a result, party youths allegedly linked to Chombo, were planning to storm and grab Mliswa’s prime farm, which lies in the heart of Karoi — with another similar “smash and grab” project planned for Mutasa’s farm in Headlands.
The Daily News also learnt yesterday that Mliswa was at the moment unable to set foot on his farm, as part of his stringent bail conditions after police allegedly discovered guns at the property.
But buoyed by the spirited support from the grassroots that he is getting, Mliswa told the Daily News yesterday that even if the party took “everything” from him, he was happy to have served the people and would always be loyal to the party and Mugabe.
Still, the sources said, some party youths wanted him “liquidated and crippled” before the litmus by-election which is set to be held in Hurungwe West to fill the legislative vacancy that had arisen as a result of Mliswa’s expulsion.
Vengai Musengi, Zanu PF Mashonaland West youth chairperson, told the Daily News yesterday that Mliswa had a clear choice of either “zipping up” or risk losing his farm.
“We know that Mliswa is saying a lot of stuff and he should stop. I have heard reports that the youths want to take action against him and move to his farm, and this is a warning to him to shut up.
“Presently, I am not in the province but I will get to the bottom of the matter,” he said ominously.
And as the spectre of the farm grabs looms large, the party’s deputy secretary for the youth league, Kudzanai Chipanga, also entered the fray, warning Mutasa and Mliswa to “behave” themselves.
“It is the duty of the ministry of Lands to allocate land and if it realises that there was an irregular manner in the allocation of the farms to either Mliswa or Mutasa it must act. I know that Temba and his uncle want to cause trouble in the party although they were expelled by the party leadership. They can go to hell because we do not need them,’’ he said.
However, he said he was personally not for the illegal grabbing of anyone’s property.
“They (Mutasa and Mliswa) are continuing to make noise denigrating the party’s leadership which will give chance to unruly elements to invade their farms so as to silence them. We do not want that behaviour and police must be on the lookout for those incidents,” Chipanga said.
Recently, some Zanu PF supporters invaded Mutasa’s Headlands farm but were later ejected by the police in what insiders said was a sign that law enforcement agents were at the moment empowered to act against such lawlessness.
But Mliswa claimed yesterday that it was in fact senior party officials who wanted to take over his Spring Farm in Karoi.
The threats to invade Mutasa and Mliswa’s farms are reminiscent of recent and similar choreographed invasions at the farm of ousted Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland East province, Ray Kaukonde.