Mugabe named in Mliswa saga


President Robert Mugabe and Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere, have been named in an alleged criminal company seizure that has landed controversial businessman Temba Mliswa in remand prison.
Court documents in NewsDay’s possession say Mliswa attempted to take over a motor accessories company in Msasa, Harare, allegedly with the blessings of minister Kasukuwere.
Court papers say Mliswa claims President Mugabe was aware of the seizure.
Mliswa and his three alleged accomplices appeared in court yesterday where a magistrate granted them $400 bail before the state invoked Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to nullify the bail and confine them to remand prison.
Minister of State in the President’s Office Didymus Mutasa, who is believed to be a relative of Mliswa and one of the alleged accomplices Martin Mutasa, were at the courts early in the morning, but left before Mliswa arrived under police escort an hour later.
Mliswa has reportedly blamed Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri for his troubles saying the police boss was biased in the matter. He even accused Chihuri of corruption and other acts of misconduct that he threatened to expose.
“Chihuri must be brought before a commission of inquiry to answer questions of unlawful detention of innocent people,” Mliswa charged.
“I will not be intimidated by him because he is a top cop, the police have a bad record of harassing and torturing people, we cannot weed out corruption until people like Chihuri are removed.”
Invoking Section 121 to withdraw Mliswa’s bail, the state said the businessman was of a violent disposition. His attack on Chihuri as a corrupt
official was also cited as a reason for denying him bail.
According to request for remand, papers filed with the Harare magistrates’ courts yesterday, Mliswa alleged that he had orders from Kasukuwere to take over Noshio Investment (Private) Limited while President Mugabe was aware of the takeover bid. Mliswa was arrested on allegations of attempting to take over the company using violence and threats. Mliswa (38) is jointly charged with Martin Mutasa (46) and George Marere (36). They face charges of fraud or alternatively, extortion.
A recorded statement from the complainant in the matter, Paul Westwood alleges that Mliswa claimed that “. . . he was the vice president of the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) and that he had come with orders from the Minister of Youth, Gender and Employment Creation, Saviour Kasukuwere to take control of the company. He further claimed President Robert Mugabe was aware of the takeover which was in line with the government policy on indigenisation.”
In October 2009, Westwood and Hammarskjold Banda the joint directors of Nashio Investiments had a dispute allegedly over misappropriation of company funds by Brendaly Banda, Hammarskjold’s wife.
Banda’s wife, who was employed as the finance and human resources manager at the company, was accused of withdrawing $25 000 without the authority of other directors which led to her suspension on October 22.
Banda and his wife allegedly connived with Mliswa, Marere, Mutasa and Alfred Mwatiwamba to take over Nashio Investment from Westwood apparently in retaliation for the suspension of Banda’s wife. The state alleges that Banda purportedly borrowed $100 000 from Mliswa at an interest rate of 5% per month for his personal use and failed to repay the loan on the agreed date prompting Mliswa to ask him to surrender his shares at Noshio Investment (Private) Limited for him to write off the debt. On December 18 last year, Mliswa, Nigel Godknows Murambiwa, Mutasa and Mwatiwamba with the assistance of Banda and his wife allegedly stormed Noshio Investments and imposed themselves as the new owners of the company.
The state alleges Mliswa and Nigel Murambiwa threatened the employees and told them they had taken over the company.
On February 16 Mliswa allegedly held a meeting and appointed two more directors, Mwatiwamba and Marere. He registered them with the Registrar of Companies as members of the board of trustees. Mliswa allegedly sent a threatening text message to Westwood instructing him not to set foot on the company premises Realising that his life was in danger, he reported the matter to the police. Mliswa and his co-accused will appear in court on July 15.