TEMBA Mliswa’s origins were not an issue when he got a farm in Mashonaland West, became MP for Hurungwe West and even took over as chairman for the ruling Zanu PF party in the province.
But now some 12 chiefs from Hurungwe gathered at district administrator Tsana Chirau offices Tuesday to complain that Mliswa is not from “here”, adding they wanted him to leave the area.
Mliswa’s hold on his Spring Farm has also become tenuous after the chiefs said they had questions about how he was given the land.
It’s the price one pays for falling out of President Robert Mugabe’s graces and refusing to take your punishment in humbled quietude.
Mliswa, once based in the UK, was expelled from Zanu PF for being part of the alleged Joice Mujuru rebellion against Mugabe.
He was also expelled from Parliament but defiantly filed papers as an independent candidate to contest the by-election which has been called in his former Hurungwe West constituency.
And as the campaign for the vote gets nasty, questions are being asked of the former fitness trainer’s origins.
Chief Dandawa, who spoke on behalf of the 12 chiefs said to have approached the Hurungwe district administrator Tuesday said they wanted Mliswa to leave the area.
“As chiefs in Hurungwe District, we are deeply astonished at assertions peddled in some sections of the media that we are behind Temba Mliswa,” Chief Dandawa is reported as saying by the Herald.
He added: “We have queries on how he found his way into our land.
“We used to work with him when he was still in Zanu PF, but since he was expelled from the party we have nothing to do with him.”
However, Mliswa dismissed the protest, saying the chiefs had been rented by Zanu PF administration secretary and local government minister Ignatius Chombo.
Mliswa, his uncle Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo, are among the most defiant of the group of senior ruling party officials and government ministers sacked over the alleged coup plot by former vice president Mujuru.
Mutasa has claimed that the group is in the process of forming structuring a so-called Zanu People First which will be led by the former VP.
The former presidential affairs minister says Mugabe has allowed himself to be conned by his ambitious wife and a gang of Zanu PF mafikizolos who include ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere.