Home » Governance » Teaser-Bull Temba Mliswa’s Sound and Fury [opinion]

Expelled Zanu-PF member Temba Mliswa would do well for a college politician.

He has the energy, given to making wild claims and noise, which nobody would care about after the heat of a particular moment.

In other words, he could well be a teaser bull, which, according to one definition, is a bull that is used to make sexual aances to cows and detect those that are on heat without being able to fertilise them.

In the recent manifestation of the fractious side of the ruling Zanu-PF, and in particular the debacle around the Joice Mujuru cabal that sought to unconstitutionally unseat President Mugabe, Temba’s name was prominent and he was widely held to be the man who was going to tell President Mugabe to step down during the party’s congress last year.

And in the run-up to that congress, Temba was in his element, appearing confident that he would be up to the task — a task that would be fertilised by Joice Mujuru who had the backing of Temba’s uncle Didymus Mutasa and the likes of Rugare Gumbo.

However, as is now public record, the scheme fell flat on its face as Mujuru, Mutasa, Gumbo and many others were expelled from the revolutionary party.

Their subalterns have received varying degrees of punitive sanctions.

Of the expelled or suspended lot, apart from Gumbo and Mutasa who have been feeding the private media their vitriol and hopes for regrouping, only Temba has come out to show some fight against his erstwhile party.

He is running as an independent in his former constituency, Hurungwe West where he is standing against Keith Guzah.

Temba has been running around the bundle of energy that he is attacking and making allegations against anyone and everyone from village heads and his rival Cde Guzah to soldiers he claims have been deployed in his area to intimidate villagers.

He had another press conference in Harare on Wednesday at some place he has had one too many such conferences already, it being a captive crowd of mainly freelance journalists and opposition-activists-turned-journalists.

Only it is understandable for the rabble-rousing Temba who also took the opportunity to pontificate to the journalists that Zimbabwe was now “a gay republic” (and must declare itself as such so that it could begin receiving aid from the west).

But that is to be expected.

It is Temba’s usual sound and fury.

What is interesting though is that Temba is finding the life as a teaser bull frustrating and unfulfiling.


There are a few pointers to illustrate this.

First, Temba is disillusioned that Zanu-PF did not split when Rugare Gumbo, the first victim of the putschist cabal was expelled on the night of December 3, 2014.

He tells us that is the day Zanu-PF should have split right in the middle and two congresses held.

But it didn’t happen and Gumbo walked out alone.

Then there was the expulsion of Mutasa, Jabulani Sibanda and Mliswa himself.

Nobody walked out with them.

Not even Joice Mujuru for whom, says Temba, the people were being punished.

She didn’t stand up to them and was to be expelled herself without any whimper and without any fight for her own behalf and the “innocent” people who were being expelled for supporting her as an “elected” leader.

Besides, if there were nine out of 10 provinces in support of Mujuru then who would be left with one?

Temba sounds bitter.

The People First project which Mujuru was supposed to lead is fast drying on the vine and matter-of-factly, Temba does not seem to believe in it anymore.

This has led him to forge a coalition of independents under his chairmanship, whose values, interestingly, includes (putting) people first!

He is confused too.

He seems to have been particularly hard done by his expulsion from Zanu-PF.

He makes a case for those who were “innocently” expelled from the revolutionary party urging the party to “engage” them.

After all, says he, he is the only one who wrote to the party asking for a hearing and for a chance to set his record clear even when the ones that today have been exonerated.

There is more to Temba’s psyche.

With only a few days to the polls on June 10, Mliswa does not seem to know whether to turn right or left.

He says that conditions in Hurungwe West are not conducive for holding an election but does not, if you expected it, pull out of the race.

Perhaps that is his way to say, if he loses as is likely, “I told you so!”

He runs with the script that we all associated with the mainstream opposition: that women and girls are systematically being raped that villagers are being tortured and intimidated and that his life is in danger.

On Wednesday he brought two guys from the rural areas who were meant to corroborate these tales in front of the cameras.

One said he had fled his area spent two days in the bush before being saved by Temba.

The other one, a former youth league member, ostensibly wrote a letter to every important office in the land chronicling the ills of Mliswa’s rival , including how he would be a menace to society.

Temba reads out the purported letter.

Only its author, on being called to elaborate on the contents of the very important letter that he allegedly wrote to the important offices in the land, does not seem to understand a word of it.

Well, it could well have been written by Temba himself.

The coming days will be interesting as we can expect more drama from the fitness trainer.

He has an uncanny inclination for the dramatic: the sound and the fury that signifies nothing.

On the matters of substance, Mliswa passes for a small man and politically he may yet have some more years to reach the level where his ego has prematurely taken him.

At least he won’t have to be someone else’s teaser bull.

Mutasa, his uncle will be gone, and likely, his Joice Mujuru, too.

Source : The Herald