MDC Businessman Sues Minister Over Cyanide Mix-Up

Alex Elias Mashamanda who owns MT&N Distributors, had a contract to supply water treatment chemicals to the local authority cancelled last month on the advice of Chombo.

He was arrested in April after a truck driver arrived at Harare’s main water works with a consignment of the dangerous chemical and was turned away after officials noticed the mix-up.

But Mashamanda, a target of Zanu (PF) militia groups in Mbare suburb, trying to stop him from developing a service station, has maintained that his company cannot be held responsible for the confusion.

Mashamanda said he was being victimised for his alleged political links to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

“My company was said to be an MDC company with initials MT&N standing for names of senior MDC officials,” he said in a statement on Monday. “This is all a smokescreen to cover dishonourable motives.

“We have suffered massive financial prejudice in excess of $500 000 as a result of unjustified and unlawful conduct.

“We borrowed from our bankers and pay heavy interest charges. It appears those fighting me are unaware of government’s indigenous empowerment policy and the need to create employment.”

He said he was taking legal action against Chombo in his personal capacity. The minister has in the past been accused of victimising MDC controlled councils as a way of re-gaining Zanu (PF)’s control of urban councils.

He has set up a commission to investigate Harare council’s tenders and the move is seen as a way of targeting Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda.