The Norton mayoress is asking a judge for a restraining order to block voluble legislator Temba Mliswa from interfering with council business amid allegations he is pursuing a tribal agenda against a municipality dominated by Masvingo office bearers.
Precious Mufahore said in court filings on Tuesday that Mliswa must be barred from getting anywhere near the town’s council offices.
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Mufahore said they were flabbergasted by the crusade against their council, and alleged the legislator was pursuing a tribal agenda because the Norton Municipal Council was overwhelmingly dominated by office bearers from Masvingo.
She insisted the fight in Norton has taken a tribal dimension, effectively pursued by a Zezuru, a powerful sub-group within the majority Shona tribe — which comprises 70 percent of the population — against the Karanga sub-group.
But Mliswa said yesterday: “I am Karanga and we have a press conference tomorrow (today) at Media Centre and will respond to this.”
This comes amid an extraordinary weeks-long exchange between the Independent Norton legislator and the mayoress, with the later forced to go to the courts to stop Mliswa from “harassing and threatening” councillors.
And in an emotion-tinged outburst, Mufahore insisted that the targeting of her council by Mliswa was part of his long-term strategy to sideline and terrorise the Karanga tribe.
“We don’t know why he is raising a war against us, hatisi kuziva, hatina mhosva naye, kana patakatadza. Mhosva ndeyeyi (we have no gripes with him, what’s the problem)? Is he fighting our council because the majority of councillors and those in management are from Masvingo?” she asked rhetorically.
Mufahore — a Karanga — said Mliswa was bitter about the ascendancy of Karangas to top positions within the Norton council.
She said they had to seek a restraining order to stop the abuse by the legislator
“We need protection because it’s too much.
“Our security is at risk. He shouldn’t come to our offices; councillors must be free to do meetings without disruptions by Mliswa.
“If a councillor calls a meeting, he also convenes a meeting at the same venue; he burns misika oti i (market stalls and blames the) council. Tashaya kuti mhosva ndeyei (We don’t know what his problem is)?”
She said Mliswa probably has a grudge against the current Norton municipal leadership because its female-dominated as there are seven female councillors and six men.
Former Norton chief executive officer, Winslow Muyambi, said from the ongoing fight, he got a sense that the legislator did not understand his terms of reference.
“From my experience, Legislators don’t understand their role. They want to supervise mayors, chairperson or council,” he told the Daily News yesterday.
“The other problem is that legislators operate on allegations and rumours, I sensed that when I saw the Galloway story,” he said, referring to the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Housing Association (Zaha)’s Galloway housing project, that Mliswa claims has swindled home seekers, but Mufahore has said was above board according to the rules and regulations.
Muyambi said: “Did he (Mliswa) go to council offices to establish the truth about that project, the ministry (of Local Government), the surveyor-general, Deeds office, did he look at the subdivision permits? Zvimwe zvinokonzerwa nekusaziva (Some of this is caused by ignorance). He must check procedures.” Daily News