Norton Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa had a heated exchange with police officers deployed to enforce lockdown measures in his constituency over the Easter holiday whom he accused of dereliction of duty.
A video clip circulating widely on social media shows Mliswa shouting at two police officers for allegedly failing to compel a supermarket manager to wear a face mask to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mliswa is heard praising some police constables for enforcing the social distancing rules but castigates a senior police officer, identified as Inspector Gumunyu, for failing to enforce the lockdown regulations by allowing the supermarket manager to work without a mask.
He goes on to call someone he claims to be the Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga complaining about the reluctance of the police officers to enforce the law.
Mliswa is heard threatening the police officers with transfer from Norton saying he had the influence to effect such a move.
“I am going straight to the CG (Commissioner-General) if you don’t know me that well. We enact the law for you to enforce but you become so stubborn. You do not deserve to be an officer-in-charge. You must leave Norton,” Mliswa charged.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi last night said he was not aware if police had been asked to handle the matter.
“I am not very sure about the status of that case. Let me check what happened,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
Some commentators on social media, however, deplored Mliswa’s conduct saying it was tantamount to intimidating and harassing the police.
“Yes, the police should enforce the law but what we see here is an issue that appears to have been blown out of proportion by Mliswa.
“In the video, he is heard admitting that all the till operators were wearing face masks. A shop manager would not ordinarily interact with customers,” said one Tendai Mahaso. The Herald