NORTON MP, Temba Mliswa, says Vice President Emerson Mnangwagwa should take over power from President Robert Mugabe “now” before Zanu PF expires in 2018.
Mliswa said if Mnangagwa does not take over power “now” he will not rule the country because the ruling party will “expire in 2018”.
He was speaking in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com where he was responding to accusations by the opposition that he was warming up for Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa’s leadership before re-joining Zanu PF.
The opposition, MDC-T in particular, accuses Mliswa of using them in the by-election last year where the Morgan Tsvangirai led party gave the Norton MP moral support.
But after winning the election, Mliswa made what many thought were somersaults and attacked the same movement which supported him throughout the violent election campaign period.
Mliswa has also been quoted by some sections of the media challenging President Mugabe to hand over power to Mnangagwa.
The former Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland West said when he talks about Mugabe handing over power to Mnangagwa he would be interpreting both the ruling party and national constitutions on succession issues.
He said, “It is not about warming up or wanting to go back to Zanu PF but it is about being realistic. From a constitutional point of view, Zanu PF is in power until 2018 and there is no dispute about that and while they are in power the President is Robert Mugabe.”
“Also, there is no doubt that he has failed to deliver on the economy and his election manifesto in which he promised to create 2.2 million jobs, and he has failed because physically he is no longer able to do certain things and he must step aside and delegate and, in that regard, Mnangagwa is the second- in charge and nobody disputes that and I cannot go for anybody other than him because that is the hierarchy at Zanu PF and I am using the Zanu PF hierarchy,” added Mliswa.
He went on, “2018 people have said that Mnangagwa is not electable and is that not good for the opposition? So why are they worried and why would they now want to link me to him,” said the controversial former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman.”
“As an elected member of parliament it is my responsibility to work with the government of the day and I cannot be involved in what the MDC and other political parties advocate for; they certainly want to be in power and unfortunately they are not, and they do not have executive powers and I have to deal with the government of the day and that is the reason why you see me talking to even Saviour Kasukuwere, the minister of Local Government, because his portfolio deals with service delivery issues which also affect my constituency,” Mliswa further said.