NORTON – Richard Tsvangirai, son to late founding MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has vowed to upstage sitting Norton legislator Temba Mliswa in the race for the seat during harmonised elections due this year.
Tsvangirai, a newcomer in mainstream politics, launched his bid for the country’s only independent seat under the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) banner.
He has gone on to roll out some empowerment projects targeting women and youths in Norton.
In an interview, Tsvangirai boasted he had the stamina to wrestle the independent legislator out of his seat.
He described Mliswa as “elitist and inconsistent with his 2018 campaign promises”.
“I believe in pro-poor, pro-democracy policies and an economy that works for all type of politics, that’s uncharted territory for Temba Mliswa,” Tsvangirai said.
“Temba Mliswa supports the current capitalist system which favours the rich whilst the poor are wallowing in poverty.
“We need someone who speaks the language of the poor in parliament.
“I believe in honesty and fairness … Mliswa believes in the politics of dishonesty.
“Mliswa indicates right and then turns left. That’s why he promised to build schools, and water plants when he was campaigning in 2018.
“Now he is telling people that is not his job as an MP; but my question is why did he promise people roads and schools in the first place when it was not his job.”
However, the third of the former Prime Minister’s offspring to run for political office has his work cut out as Mliswa has often put up very strong campaigns for election to parliament.
In the 2018 elections, the fiery politician garnered a massive 16,857 votes against current Zanu PF spokesperson Chris Mutsvangwa’s 4,255.
Mliswa has vowed to snatch the entire opposition vote in the 2023 election.
Tsvangirai denied claims he was a political chancer seeking to draw from his late father’s political capital without showing any clout.
“My father was a trade unionist and fighter for democracy, suffering much at the hands of Zanu PF,” Tsvangirai said of the former opposition chief.
“His values were pro-poor, pro-democracy and he taught for an economy that works for all.
“I am into politics because I want to fight for the poor people, I want to fight for democracy, I want to fight for an economy that works for all.”
He vowed to preserve “my father’s legacy by continuing being the voice of the poor, the voice for democracy and by fighting for an economy that works for every Zimbabwean despite age, disability, and race”.