Mliswa spills the beans


Temba Mliswa, the controversial businessman and farmer accused of stealing six generators from farms around Karoi, yesterday stunned the court when he alleged that three of them were bought by Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and other senior Zanu PF officials.
These include Paddington Zhanda, a prominent businessman and Zanu PF central committee member and Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Constantine.
“I am reliably informed (by my sales team) that the generators were sold to Mrs Chiwenga, Paddy Zhanda and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri,” Mliswa told the court.
The state, through prosecutor Phyllis Zvenyika, alleged that Mliswa in March 2003, used names of senior government officials to illegally obtain the generators from Bonvalley, Westlands, Hesketh, Cavensham and Spring farms in Karoi.
He allegedly took the generators to Harare and sold them to various people, including the Zanu PF political stalwarts, and retained one which he gave to his friend Amos Manyere of Hesmere Farm in Karoi.
When the affected farmers approached Mliswa demanding their money or properties, he allegedly hired youths to threaten them with violence.
Mliswa claimed that the generators in question belonged to him.
Prosecutor Zvenyika further said sometime in 2002 Mliswa allegedly hatched a plan to seize equipment from another Karoi farm by convincing the owners to sell the items in order to save it from expropriation during the fast-track land reform programme.
Mliswa, who at the time was based at Spring Farm in Karoi upon his return from the United Kingdom, is alleged to have offered to help in the disposal of the equipment saying he was well-connected.
Zvenyika further alleged that Mliswa purportedly entered agreements of sale with the farmers on the understanding that he would purchase some of the farming equipment in British pounds.
After signing the alleged agreements of sale, Mliswa allegedly auctioned part of the property and converted the proceeds to personal use.
The state alleged that each time Mliswa received information of any acquired farm, he would approach the owner purporting to offer political protection and facilitate safe disposal of the equipment.
Last week, Mliswa appeared in court on allegations of fraudulently acquiring farming equipment valued at $32 million from Karoi and Kwekwe farmers.
Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei remanded Mliswa in custody to today for ruling after the defence challenged his placement on remand citing infringement of his constitutional rights.