Independent Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa, a former Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front provincial chairman, today said he attended the Movement for Democratic Change congress in Gweru to fulfil an invitation by the party and to share his wish for the party to come to the dialogue table for the progress of Zimbabwe.
Mliswa said he attended the congress because he had always maintained that as an independent legislator, he must remain balanced.
Mliswa is the Member of Parliament for Norton, a seat he won twice as an independent candidate after being expelled from ZANU-PF.
“I take in views from ruling party ZANUPF, official views from main opposition @MDCAllianceZW, take in the good of each, point out the bad & formulate my own opinion,” he tweeted.
“Contrary to popular belief it’s not the 1st @mdczimbabwe event I’ve attended. The late Tsvangirai has before invited me to address in Wedza, the March for jobs etc, I’m part of progressive initiatives. I also work well with many @MDCAllianceZW MPs as I believe in their capacity.
“Norton is a mixed bag & it would be folly of me not to take in the divergent views of all to effectively represent the aspirations of the people of Norton.”
Mliswa said he spoke about the importance of the MDC as the biggest political party in the country and the need for dialogue as well as its inevitability.
The MDC has so far refused to join the dialogue called by President Emmerson Mnangagwa arguing that he is one of the disputants and cannot therefore convene national dialogue.
The party does not recognise Mnangagwa as President and insists that its leader Nelson Chamisa won last year’s presidential elections.
Although Mnangagwa kicked off the dialogue, it is now being convened by retired Judge Selo Nare of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission.
The MDC prefers a convener from outside Zimbabwe.
Mliswa said the politics of numbers shows without doubt that the MDC remains one of the most important factors and players in any national discourse for the eradication of the current challenges but the energy and drive within the MDC family if properly harnessed through a national discourse can be positive for the country but if it is allowed to simmer and fester as a sore opposition it can be a challenge.
“An assortment of egotism& hateful politics, driven by personal hatred and not merely clash of ideas, is the deathbed of developmental politics in any country. We should make sure not to get bogged down in such a mess as a nation,” he said.
“We have allowed differences at the level of ideas to grow into unrestrained personal hatred and vindictiveness which sees us caught in the current logjam where no one is willing to yield ground for national progress.
“Progress is more often than not a result of compromise.”