Former Hurungwe West legislator, Temba Mliswa, wants to meet with President Robert Mugabe in order to “clear his name.”
The outspoken politician, who used to be Zanu(PF) Mashonaland West provincial chairman, became the first victim of a ruthless purge that rocked the ruling party ahead of its crunch congress last year.
He was first toppled from the helm of the volatile province last year before being expelled from both party and Parliament.
Mliswa was accused of being part of a cabal fronted by fired former vice president, Joice Mujuru, which allegedly plotted to remove President Mugabe from power through unconstitutional means, even assassination.
Mliswa told the Financial Gazette this week that he is pressing for a meeting with the Zanu(PF) leader so that he could give his side of the story.
He believes that the meeting will turn his political fortunes around.
“I would like to meet the President. That’s the truth of the matter because he is the centre of power,” said Mliswa.
He said meeting President Mugabe, who is also the first secretary of ZANU-PF, was his constitutional right.
“In terms of the Zanu(PF) constitution, everyone has the right to meet the President the party and give their side of the story but that opportunity has not been accorded to me. I have utmost respect for the President. I have spoken to him before. He has given me time and has listened to issues that I have brought to his attention and he has acted timeously and professionally,” he said.
that opportunity has not been accorded to me. I have utmost respect for the President. I have spoken to him before. He has given me time and has listened to issues that I have brought to his attention and he has acted timeously and professionally,” he said.“I have always been hoping to meet him and also give the other side of the story which he has not been given (before) because we have not met,” he added.
Asked about chances of being listened to, Mliswa said: “He is a fair man. The President is fair. In my dealings with him, when he hears your side of the story and there is merit in it, he changes. That is why Jonathan Moyo is back. He gave his side of the story,” Mliswa said referring to Information Minister, Moyo, who was expelled from the ruling party after he decided to stand for Tsholotsho North constituency during the 2005 parliamentary elections against the party’s directive.
“The President got to hear his side of the story and he was vindicated and exonerated,” Mliswa said.
“It will be an honest meeting and the truth will be said. I want all those people who have lied to him to be reprimanded for that. A lot of dishonesty has happened which is very unfortunate. I don’t think fabricating lies is the best way to reach the top,” said Mliswa.
He was very optimistic about his chances of bouncing back into the party.
“History has shown that those who have been expelled before have bounced back to be the drivers of the party. They are unique in nature. My own personal history gives me hope that I can always bounce back. So yes, I am very confident that I will come back,” he said.
With President Mugabe now ring fenced by hardliners, Mliswa knows how difficult it is to meet him.
“Of course it is very difficult to meet the centre of power when there are other people working against you who are so close to him. It is likely to be blocked but I will not give up trying,” he said.
Mliswa is jointly challenging his dismissal from Parliament with his uncle, Didymus Mutasa, at the Constitutional Court.
Their case, which has since been declared urgent by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, will he heard on Wednesday.