Embattled Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa and the party’s provincial administration secretary Kindness Paradza Tuesday survived a no-confidence vote allegedly hatched by their rivals after some of the provincial leaders chickened out at the eleventh hour and refused to sign the petition.
Sources said the petition was publicised and withdrawn after only 11 out of 50 provincial executive members had appended their signatures with the majority pulling out, citing lack of transparency on the issue.
Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna confirmed the development, saying he had refused to sign the document after its architects failed to spell out reasons for the no-confidence vote.
“I have nothing against anyone; I’m a professional and I believe in transparency. A vote of no confidence requires a certain number for it to be valid,” Nduna said .
Both Mliswa and Paradza scoffed at the plot, describing it as misguided and meant to stifle robust debate on issues affecting the ruling party.
“I’m aware and prepared for such eventualities because some politburo members have not rested since the day I was elected beating their sponsored candidates,” said Mliswa.
Paradza chipped in saying: “I was made aware of it, but it’s not going to succeed because, as for me, I was elected by the Makonde people and it’s only them who can recall me or the party’s disciplinary committed can suspend or fire me if I do something drastically.”
Deputy provincial chairman Ziyambi Ziyambi and provincial youth chairman Vengai Musengi were cited as some of the signatories to the petition, but both refuted that.
“I heard that the petition is circulating, but it is still to come to me,” Musengi said.
Mliswa has had several run-ins with his peers in and outside the province with some politburo members openly labelling him a rabble rouser.
Last week, two Zanu PF MPs from Mashonaland West province, Christopher Mutsvangwa (Norton) and Runesu Blessed Geza (Sanyati) petitioned President Robert Mugabe to rein in Mliswa whom they accused of sowing seeds of disunity in the party and disregarding protocol.
Prior to that, the Hurungwe West MP had been slapped by provincial treasurer Beauty Zhuwao during a highly-charged provincial meeting in Chinhoyi.
Both Mliswa and Paradza have been cited among the party’s infamous “Dirty Dozen MPs” following allegations that they received development aid from the United States Embassy in exchange for “selling out” party secrets.
The legislators have, however, denied the charge and challenged their rivals to prove their claims.
Sources said Mliswa and Paradza’s rivals were pushing for Ziyambi to become the chairman and Keith Guzah as secretary for administration.