MDC-T members in Mashonaland West Province have threatened to rally behind former Zanu PF provincial chairman Temba Mliswa and help him retain the Hurungwe West constituency in a by-election scheduled for June 10.
Mliswa, who was recently expelled from Zanu PF and Parliament alongside former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa for taking President Robert Mugabe to court, wants to contest the by-election as an independent candidate.
He has also filed a court challenge seeking to block the by-elections.
MDC-T provincial organising-secretary Wilson Makanyaire said although his party had resolved to boycott the polls citing an uneven playing field, the province had agreed to back Mliswa in order to prevent Zanu PF from reclaiming the constituency.
Besides the MDC-T, war veterans and traditional leaders in Hurungwe West people have also vowed to stand by Mliswa in the by-election.
“I call upon all forces of reason to form a provincial political coalition to reject President Mugabe from his backyard. We must support the candidate who has an advantage over others against Zanu PF and in this case it is Mliswa,” Makanyaire said.
He blasted Zanu PF officials of unleashing a terror campaign in Hurungwe West ahead of the by-election.
“It’s sad that the expulsion of Mliswa has brought new terror as known innocent supporters known to be MDC-T and those who back Mliswa are being victimizsd,” he said.
Contacted for comment, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu, however, said the party was still bound by its congress resolution not to participate in any elections before implementation of key electoral reforms.
“I talk on behalf of the party and the position of the last congress is very clear that we will not participate in future elections until and unless there are electoral amendments. Only the national council can overturn that . . . I don’t want to say my own thoughts in case I’m misunderstood.” Gutu said.
Mliswa said he could not comment on the matter as it was still before the courts.