By Johanes Chinotimba
The newly elected scallywag member of the House of Assembly for Norton, Themba Mliswa will never cease to amaze those with time to listen to him.
The late sungura maestro, Tongai Moyo left a message of counsel for Themba.May his soul rest in peace!
“Pane akakunyepera chinin’ina changu, kuti watove muhombe...” the song goes, literally meaning somebody must have deceived you into thinking that you are now a big man in town. For Mliswa, indeed the 8 927 rented electorate that voted for him in Norton last month gave him that grandiose delusions.
After winning the Norton by-election, Mliswa now sees himself as a big man in a small dormitory town. Thus, he now even wants to try it at a national magnitude. While addressing a gathering at his victory celebration party in Norton on Saturday, Mliswa announced his hallucinations of joining the forthcoming presidential race.
“If I have won Norton against Zanu PF, what else will stop me from winning the presidential election in 2018, I can win the presidential seat and I am going for it. I will never lose to Zanu PF, it died on 22 October when I defeated them here in Norton. The party’s two vice presidents came here to address rallies but I defeated them. Mugabe could not come to Norton during the campaign because he knew that I was going to defeat him as well,” he blabbered.
What Mliswa forgets is that his recent victory had nothing to do with his imagined machismo. Neither does it have anything to do with charisma, magnetism or political prowess and dexterity. He needs to be reminded that his victory was a product of pooled efforts from all opposition political parties. Even some Zanu PF cadres, through voter apathy in protest against perceived imposition of the candidate, contributed to the victory of Mliswa. There were a myriad of other factors that contributed to his victory.
Thus, Mliswa is riding on borrowed popularity and he would do well if he is not lost to that reality. His ostentatious mirage is reminiscent of that Biblical donkey which carried Jesus into Jerusalem. It hoofed it on the carpet amid ululations and it thought all these were being showered on it. If it had dared to return into the great city one day, it would have kissed goodbye to its spine.
But Temba is daring to return to Jerusalem in 2018 without Jesus on his back. Your guess is as good as yours truly, on the consequences of such a happy-go-lucky decision. After being abetted by the opposition to win the Norton seat, the ungrateful Mliswa is already biting the hand that feeds him. He is telling Morgan Tsvangirai, who believes his party played a key role in Mliswa’s victory, to go to hell. A great lesson for Tsvangirai, for he is falling into a pit that he dug.
During the victory celebration ceremony at the weekend, Mliswa laid into Tsvangirai for shunning same. Tsvangirai, as his custom, reportedly boycotted the ceremony in protest against Mliswa’s association with Zanu PF officials, Minister Saviour Kasukuwere in particular. Mliswa and TsvangiraiÂÂ are both funny characters.
Mliswa is reportedly demanding for the fulfilment of campaign promises made by Ronald Chindedza, the Zanu PF losing candidate.ÂÂ What is funny and strange is that the controversial legislator is demanding the fulfilment of electoral promises from a losing rival when he had not fulfilled even a single of his promises himself. That’s duplicity at its highest order, tantamount to a scenario of trying to remove a speck in someone’s eye when yours has a log.
Norton residents are already peeved over unfulfilled campaign promises. Of course it’s too early to judge him but the situation on the ground, according to residents, does not reflect that there will be any action from Mliswa, who is actually mulling going back to Hurungwe West Constituency in 2018. He is not worried about Norton anymore because it is a bird in the pocket. Rinonyenga rinohwarara rinozosimudza musoro rawana (literally meaning he who proposes lies low and raises his head when he finds). His focus is on what he intends to get in 2018. That’s the price of investing your vote in a political passerby who is alien to your interests and aspirations.
The contribution he has made so far as a member of parliament is the recent dim-witted advocacy for the legalisation of homosexuality in honour of former ceremonial President Canaan Banana. Here you are Norton residents; your honourable MP is calling you to embrace gays with a view to, probably turning Norton into a latter day Sodom and Gomorrah.
Ironically, he is the same person who has been, all along raucously slamming perceived gays. It’s a mystery that Mliswa has suddenly changed his attitude towards homosexuality. There is a suspicious and stinking correlation between that Mliswa’s change of attitude towards homosexuality and his source of funding in the Norton by-election. There is rare free funding from the west as it usually comes with strings attached. Once they pay the piper, they also call the tune and you have to dance to it like a toy.ÂÂ Money has turned Mliswa into a robot that acts out instructions unintelligently.
He has pulled a shocker this time around. Yesterday he tore into gays, today he is embracing them. Yesterday he thanked Tsvangirai for the victory; today he refutes the former’s contribution into his victory. Yesterday he was a vehement critic of bond notes which he is now telling people to embrace. The same Tsvangirai he is saying lacks statesmanship today is the same that he described yesterday as a statesman worth the presidency. One wonders if such a vacillating leader can be trusted anymore. Someone close to him must ask him what he is smoking these days.
However, Mr Tsvangirai must also grow up. He cannot shun his “muzukuru’s” party just because he is hobnobbing with Minister Kasukuwere. If anything Zanu PF is dirty to him, he should have rejected the $70 000 extended to him by Zanu PF government for his medical bill settlement.
Mliswa just visited a government minister, probably for less than an hour. What about Mr Tsvangirai himself who has been living and sleeping with a Zanu PF daughter in a Zanu PF government mansion for all these years.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.