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Mliswa fights for freedom again


Jailed businessman Temba Mliswa who has been in custody since June 28, is back in court today to make another bid for freedom.
Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei is expected to hear the bail application, for which Mliswa will bring a witness from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to help his case.
Mliswa is in custody on allegations of stealing six 60 KVA generators from farms around Karoi, which he claimed in court to have sold to police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri, Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife to Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantine, and Goromonzi North MP and Zanu PF central committee member Paddy Zhanda.
Mliswa is also facing another case of defrauding the RBZ of $3,5 million.
Last week prosecutor Tendai Chiduwa led evidence from Detective Inspector Samuel Masvokweni who told the court that investigations into the two matters were still continuing and there were fears Mliswa could interfere with witnesses if released on bail.
“Some of the witnesses in this matter are employees of the accused person and there is a possibility that he may interfere with them,” he said.
Masvokweni said documents the state had so far related to agreements of sale of cattle between Mliswa and the farmers and not generators.
“I have since recorded statements from two witnesses and there is no mention of agreements of sale for generators at all, and I am yet to record statements from two other Bulawayo witnesses,” Masvokweni said.
Masvokweni further told the court he had interviewed the owner of the company which owns the crane that was used to remove the generators from the farms.
He said police were still to recover some of the generators that had not yet been accounted for.
Turning to the issue of the alleged fraud case, Masvokweni said Mliswa allegedly sold 26 000 bales of tobacco and removed them from Bak Storage but did not remit the money to RBZ.
However, Mliswa’s lawyer Charles Chinyama argued that Mliswa was one of the directors of Saltlakes Holdings and as such he signed the agreements of sale of the generators on behalf of the company.
He challenged the investigating officer that if at all the police had sought to charge individuals for the alleged theft of generators they should have charged all the directors of Saltlakes.
Chinyama further argued that the alleged fraud matter was purely civil because the RBZ said Mliswa had failed to remit the money from the proceeds of sale of tobacco according to the signed memorandum of deposit agreement. Chinyama made an application to order the state to subpoena RBZ official Morris Mpofu to give evidence today and it was granted.

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