FIREBRAND Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa has threatened to name and shame senior government officials who were allegedly bribed by businessman Billy Rautenbach to scandalise him in a deal in which he is accused of attempting to extort $165 million from the businessman.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Mliswa said all his business transactions with Rautenbach were done above board.
Mliswa has been at the centre of controversy after Rautenbach claimed that the Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson was an extortionist who demanded about $165 million from him.
But Mliswa yesterday came out guns blazing and accused the businessman of insincerity and using money to victimise him after reneging on earlier “business” agreements.
Mliswa said the money was shareholding and consultancy fees for linking Rautenbach up with influential government officials to facilitate his acquisition of Hwange, Unki and Chisumbanje deals.
“Time will come when I am going to name who received what from Billy. He [Rautenbach] believed that I could do all that for free. I don’t come that cheap. I am a businessman who believes in a handshake,” Mliswa said.
He described Rautenbach as a “crook” who was no longer wanted in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana due to his unscrupulous dealings with the governments.
“Rautenbach fled from South Africa after serious economic offences regarding import tariffs. He established a mafia operation, abused Zimbabwe soldiers in the DRC, and was deported from the DRC in 2000. He is not welcome in SA, the DRC and Botswana. He is now using Zimbabwe and thinks he is untouchable,” Mliswa fumed.
He said as an MP he was determined to ensure that everyone accounted for the country’s resources and would push to ensure that Rautenbach’s shady deals were probed.
Mliswa claimed that Rautenbach’s deals had prejudiced the country of billions of dollars.
He said the businessman was not an investor but exploiting Zimbabwe’s resources.
Mliswa questioned why Rautenbach, a white man, had become the single largest land owner in the country.
“Billy was given 30 % of Unki, he never mined, but speculated it and made money to establish the Green Fuel project. He should explain what happened to the Unki concession, given to him for free by the Government of Zimbabwe. He should also explain how much he brought to the country.”
He accused The Herald of fronting Zanu PF faction fights. It is widely believed that Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are fighting to replace President Robert Mugabe.
He castigated a parastatal boss (name given), who had allegedly been fighting in Rautenbach’s corner as an opportunist, an Uncle Tom who dumped Zanu PF work in order to front for whites.
“Even his house in Mutare was bought by Rautencbach. He did the same when he fronted for whites in the Save Conservancy,” Mliswa said.