Mliswa on $7m theft charge

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The trial of former Zimbabwe men’s national football team fitness trainer Temba Mliswa, who is alleged to have stolen farm equipment and cattle worth over $7 million, failed to commence on Tuesday after State witnesses did not turn up.

Regional magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi remanded Mliswa to May 10 for trial. Mliswa is expected to file his defence outline on that day.

The cases for which Mliswa is being charged date back to 2002 when government was acquiring farms for resettlement.

Mliswa, represented by Charles Chinyama, allegedly stole 60 head of cattle, farming equipment and a 60kVA generator from Richard Hamilton of Bonnvale Farm in Karoi, all valued at over $7 million.

The State alleges Mliswa issued a ZW$4 million cheque then, but later stopped the transaction.

Prosecutor Rufaro Mhandu alleged that Mliswa sold part of the farm equipment while retaining part of it for use at his Spring Farm in Karoi.

During the same year, Mliswa is also alleged to have stolen irrigation equipment and a 60kVA generator from another Karoi farmer, John Coast of Hesketh and Westland farms.

The State alleges Mliswa hired youths who besieged Hesketh and Westland farms following which he allegedly took control of the farms where he allegedly stole farming equipment all valued at over
$300 000.

Meanwhile, Mliswa and his co-accused applied for discharge at the close of the state case in another matter where they are accused of attempting to wrest a vehicle accessory company from Paul Westwood.

Chinyama is expected to file his written application for discharge on April 26, while principal law officer Godwin Takawira Nyasha should file his response by April 27.

Regional magistrate Never Katiyo will give his determination on April 29.

Mliswa’s co-accused are Martin Mutasa, George Marere, Alfred Mwatiwamba, Brendaly Banda and Hammarskjold Banda.

It is alleged on December 18, 2009, Mliswa and the co-accused stormed Noshio Investments and imposed themselves as the new owners of the company.

Mliswa is alleged to have threatened and ordered Westwood not to set foot at the company which resulted in him reporting the matter to the police.

However, Mliswa and his co-accused have denied the allegations and told the court they never committed the offence, but rather Westwood wanted to swindle them of their 50% shares in the company.