By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent
INDEPENDENT Members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors are more oriented towards their core legislative and policy-making business as opposed to those who belong to political parties, independent Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa has said.
His remarks followed the successful filing of nomination papers by an unprecedented number of independent candidates, particularly those disgruntled over contentious party primary elections.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com at Chinhoyi Court Complex after successfully tendering requisite documents at the Nomination Court, Mliswa decried the party whipping system, which he opined prevented politicians from exercising their own discretion when debating matters in the August house and councils.
Also, being members of political formations consumed precious time attending “useless” party meetings at the expense of development, he added.
“National interest is what is important for me, that’s the reason l remain independent and don’t want to belong to any political party because you are whipped.
“…in Norton l am told a number of councillors stood as independents. I have always said this, if we have a council which is independent and an MP who is independent, there are only three things which are development, development and development,” said the outspoken lawmaker.
Asked about his chances of retaining Norton seat, Mliswa expressed confidence in annihilating his contenders, Citizens Coalition for Change candidate Richard Tsvangirai and Constance Shamu (Zanu PF).
“I look forward to the election and going for a hattrick as an independent MP. I have done it twice and l am going for the third time which is most probable. I don’t campaign, l work.
“It’s a delayed match, l have no competition because l have built my own voters who are independent, who are more than the political parties. And again with this confusion in political parties (over candidate selection), that’s just a bonus,” said Mliswa.
The high numbers of aspiring independent MPs and councillors was testimony US$1 000 and US$100 nomination fees were not a deterrent to those seeking political office.
A total eleven independent aspiring lawmakers were announced at the close of nomination court around midnight Wednesday to stand in the 22 constituencies across Mashonaland West.
Chegutu West constituency recorded four, the highest number of non-aligned hopefuls, who include former MP Takalani Matibe, Gift Konjana, Elizabeth Makiyi and Owen Munatsi.
Only Zanu PF and CCC submitted party lists for Senate, female Proportional Representation, youth quota, and provincial council.
A total 63 MP candidates across the political divide submitted nomination papers and were duly nominated to contest the August harmonised polls.
Across the province MDC-T aligned to Douglas Mwonzora managed to field only one candidate (Dzikamai Hamamuri) in Kadoma Central constituency while Zanu PF and CCC fielded in all 22 constituencies.