Independent MP Temba Mliswa (Norton) said opposition politicians should “grow up” and not focus on petty issues that have nothing to do with the country’s development.
He made the remarks after MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora was labelled a sellout by Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) sympathisers after it emerged that he was given a brand-new Mercedes-Benz and a farm by the government.
Mliswa said there was nothing wrong with Mwonzora accepting the vehicle since he received it in his capacity as the leader of the opposition in Parliament.
The outspoken former ZANU PF Mash West provincial chairman said CCC leader Nelson Chamisa would have received the same perks if he had accepted the position when it was reportedly offered to him in 2018. Mliswa posted on Twitter:
The opposition needs to grow up and not operate in a binary manner that reduces everything to bare essentials.
Some things cannot be understood and captured comprehensively in that basic manner. There is disturbing myopia in some things which I have a problem with.
Mwonzora is the recognised leader of Gvt business& that’s a fact. You cannot contrive to create conspiracies everywhere.
At times such colorful imagination can lead you astray. You end up wasting time on petty issues. It’s good for Mwonzora that he got that. That’s his benefit.
For the record, Chamisa was offered this position way before Mwonzora and he would have received all these.
He refused due to his own principles and perception. Would he have become a sellout if he accepted? No!
Sometimes you have to be practical and mature in your approach. You cannot go around labeling everyone a sellout.
The CCC MPs are receiving salaries and perks from a Gvt led by [President Emmerson Mnangagwa]. Does that make them sellouts?
Mwonzora has received the same perks different only in level due to his position but it’s the same thing.
Being in the opposition doesn’t mean fighting everything and everyone not on your side. You can still remain a valid and legitimate opposition even while supporting some Gvt positions and decisions. The bigger ideal is the success of the nation, not the parties!
Attritional politics steeped in pushing back and fighting everything is only useful and progressive up to a certain point.
After that, you begin to sound insane and unhinged, centered on nothing but the passion for friction.
Responding to Mliswa, journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said that, unlike Mwonzora, Chamisa was voted for by millions of voters. He said:
Dear @TembaMliswa, @nelsonchamisa was voted for by millions of Zimbabweans. If he had taken this position it wouldn’t have been selling out, Zimbabweans voted for him.
Nobody voted for @DMwonzora to represent them, so he sold out by being used to crush the people’s aspirations.