Former Zimbabwe national football team fitness trainer and farmer, Temba Mliswa, may have an early Christmas present on Monday if his application for acquittal is granted by Harare regional magistrate William Bhila.
Mliswa made an application for a discharge at the close of the state case after the state called the evidence of the investigating officer Detective Inspector, Samuel Masvokwenyi.
Mliswa is alleged to have seized farming equipment and cattle from a Karoi farmer, Peter Van Der Merwe, six years ago.
However, it emerged that Van Der Merwe did not report the case to the police against the former Warriors fitness trainer as a criminal case but he, together with his wife Carol, wanted to use the police as debt collectors against Mliswa.
Carol Van Der Merwe told the court two weeks ago during cross-examination by Charles Chinyama, Mliswa’s lawyer, that she never reported the matter to the police but was invited to give a statement at a luxurious hotel in Bulawayo.
“I was called by the police to go to Holiday Inn in Bulawayo to give a statement,” Carol told the court.
When Masvokwenyi was asked by Chinyama whether it was procedural for statements to be recorded at a hotel as opposed to a police station, the officer said there was no standing rule outlining where police could record statements from witnesses.
The lawyer further asked Masvokwenyi if he would have accepted a report had both Peter and Carol Van der Merwe told him there was no fraud that was committed by Mliswa but that they both wanted the police to assist them to recover property from him which he was holding on to.
“I would not have done that but they lied to me. If that is what they said before the court, it gives two different views,” Masvokwenyi replied.
Last week, Chinyama produced receipts that proved Mliswa bought some farming equipment from Van Der Merwe and his wife who also entered into an agreement with him to sell the other farming equipment on commission.
Chinyama said Mliswa and the complainant had a debtor-creditor relationship although Van Der Merwe wanted to use the police as debt collectors.
Two weeks ago the state called the evidence of the complainant Van Der Merwe and his wife who both testified they had an agreement with Mliswa to sell their farming equipment on 10% commission which was signed six years ago and was still running.