“There is a difference between leadership and the electorate, because the leadership likes you it does not mean that the electorate likes you. I am an example of that. While I was expelled from ZANU PF, the Norton elections which are of record, in 2013 ZANU PF won with 10 500 and MDC had 9 300. In 2018 ZANU PF had 4 000, MDC 7 000 and I had 17 000 which means the majority of the ZANU PF came to me because they follow a leader who is independent and who has strong values. That is an example you must understand.
“It is critical that these statistics are kept by politicians who are serious. If you look at it and add 4 000 to 7 000, it is 11 000 and I had 17 000. So the two could not even match because you have a constituency which believes in a leader who is independent minded and fast, people are becoming aware of representing and so forth.
“So long the leadership of the party is supreme; you cannot rely on the leadership of the party to win elections. You must rely on your own work and independent thinking. Even if you are the advisor to the President, when people now look at the electorate, they choose their leader. So positions mean nothing at the end of the day,” he said in what could have been a reference to Chris Mutsvangwa whom Mliswa beat in the 2018 elections when Mutsvangwa was advisor to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Below is his lengthy contribution:
AMENDMENT OF SECTION 129 (1) (k) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE
HON. T. MLISWA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House:
RECOGNISING that Members of Parliament, with the exception of Independent candidates, are elected to Parliament on a political party ticket;
ACKNOWLEDGING that every political party is guided by its own ideology, values and principles which largely influence the manner in which members of the party debate on issues brought before Parliament;
AWARE that once a Member of Parliament is elected, he or she becomes a representative of every citizen of Zimbabwe in his or her constituency and not just those that voted for the Member;
CONCERNED that Members of Parliament cannot fulfil this representative role to its letter and spirit due to the strictures imposed by political party ideology which is enforced by the whipping system;
NOTING that Section 61 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe affords every citizen, including Parliamentarians, the right to freedom of expression and the right to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information;
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