BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Controversial Kwekwe businessman Shepherd Tundiya, who is accused of obstructing the course of justice after allegedly trying to convince mogul James Ross Goddard to withdraw extortion charges against Norton legislator Temba Mliswa, has said the police wrongly arrested him instead of the MP.
Tundiya, who appeared before magistrate Lazini Ncube, denied the offence, saying the police must prosecute Mliswa for demanding a US$400 000 bribe from Goddard on two different occasions.
In his defence outline, Tundiya, who is the director of Avim Investments, claimed he was being abused by being dragged into the bribery storm.
“I am being abused by being dragged into the bribery storm or shady dealings between Mliswa and the complainant. As facts stand, it should be Mliswa who ought to be prosecuted for demanding bribes on two different occasions from the complainant and not me,” Tundiya said.
Goddard had accused the then parliamentary portfolio committee on mines members Mliswa, Anele Ndebele, Prince Sibanda and Leonard Chikomba of demanding a US$400 000 bribe from him to facilitate the awarding of a mining contract with Hwange Colliery Private Limited.
Tundiya is accused of instructing Goddard to withdraw the matter while at the offices of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya.
But the accused said when they met at the RBZ with Goddard, they did not discuss Mliswa’s bribery case, but only discussed a different matter in which Mangudya heard reports that Mliswa was demanding a bribe from Goddard using his name.
Goddard said when the legislators allegedly tried to extort money from him, he approached Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, who then advised him to see the Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, leading to the report.
Ncube postponed the matter to September 28 for trial continuation and Mangudya is expected to testify.
Michael Reza appeared for the State.