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Cops quiz MP

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Investigations into under- fire businessman Temba Mliswa’s saga last week intensified as police quizzed Goromonzi North MP and Zanu PF central committee member Paddy Zhanda over allegations of buying one of the three generators looted from farmers.
Zhanda, a prominent farmer and businessman, confirmed having bought a generator from the controversial businessman and farmer, Mliswa, who is currently in remand prison on charges of theft.
In an interview at the weekend Zhanda said: “I admit that I bought a generator from Temba Mliswa but I did not know it was stolen.
“I have no intentions of returning it and my conscience is clear. It was purely a commercial transaction.”
Mliswa recently told a magistrate that he sold three of the generators looted from farmers to police chief Augustine Chihuri, Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife to Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, Constantine and Zhanda.
Contacted for comment on whether Zhanda had returned the generator Mliswa’s lawyer Charles Chinyama said last night he did not know who Zhanda was. “I don’t know who Zhanda is. I am also reading it in the newspapers,” said Chinyama
However, Newsday has it on good authority that Zhanda has since handed over the generator in question to the police.
He was questioned by police over the matter.
The sources said the court would decide whether to charge Chihuri, Chiwenga and Zhanda for purchasing stolen property or to regard them as witnesses against Mliswa.
Chief Law Officer Chris Mutangadura said all those implicated in the case could not be prosecuted because at law they were considered third parties.
Mutangadura said if anything, they could only be regarded as witnesses since they allegedly bought the generators from Mliswa who had acquired them through an agreement that went sour.
Chihuri has refuted claims that he bought the generator and has threatened legal action describing the allegations by Mliswa as “spurious.”
Yesterday chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena would neither confirm nor deny that Zhanda had returned the generator he bought from Mliswa.
The three, who were fingered by Mliswa in court, risk being jailed for 25 years if it is proved that they purchased stolen generators from Mliswa.
According to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act section 124: “Any person who takes possession of stolen property knowing that it has been stolen; or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that it has been stolen;shall be guilty of receiving stolen property knowing it to have been stolen, and liable to a fine not exceeding level 14 or not exceeding twice the value of the property which forms the subject of the charge, whichever is the greater; or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 25 years; or both.
“If it is proved in a prosecution for receiving stolen property knowing it to have been stolen that, the act, at the time the accused took possession of the property, he or she did not know that it had been stolen or did not realise that there was a real risk or possibility that it had been stolen, but acquired such knowledge or came to such a realisation afterwards, he or she may be convicted of theft or stock theft or of being found in possession of property reasonably suspected of being stolen, if the facts support such a conviction.”
Section 125 notes that “if any person is or has been in possession of property capable of being stolen and the circumstances of his or her possession are such as to give rise, either at the time of his or her possession or at any time thereafter, to a reasonable suspicion that when he or she came into possession of the property it was stolen; and is unable at any time to give a satisfactory explanation for his or her possession of the property; the person shall be guilty of possessing property reasonably suspected of being stolen, and liable to a fine not exceeding level 10 or not exceeding twice the value of the property which forms the subject of the charge, whichever is the greater; or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or both”.

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