After clashing with Mliswa over a vehicle spares company deal, police commissioner Augustine Chihuri is said to have decided to use his power and “fix” the controversial former fitness trainer by having him detained for crimes committed when he grabbed a farm in Karoi in 2003.
Now, Mliswa is facing 70 counts of fraud and extortion but the move has awakened the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) whose officials are now encouraging the over 4500 white farmers to push their cases through the police.
The whole Zanu (PF) hierarchy including President Robert Mugabe, vice-presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, service chiefs including Chihuri himself and ministers are said to have looted property and equipment found on the dozens of farms they violently grabbed from the white farmers.
The invaders also harvested and looted the crop and animals they found on farms.
A senior Zanu (PF) official who spoke to Radio VOP on Sunday said they were now panicking that the arrest of Mliswa had opened up the situation to many more arrests.
“Police have opened up something which we had all forgotten about. Mliswa grabbed a farm like all of us including the president himself and everyone took property and equipment including the farm houses. We do understand that Chihuri is trying to settle his personal fight with Mliswa, but this will have wide ranging and disastrous consequences for Zanu PF and its leaders.
“Now we cannot go on top of the mountain and say the MDC want to reverse the land reform programme – we are reversing the gains of land reform ourselves.
“Most Zanu (PF) officials took property belonging to the white farmers and we are worried now that the police might be coming for us. A precedent has been set and the white farmers have been rejuvenated all because of lack of foresight by some dull senior police officers.
“What will the police do if a commercial farmer walks into a police station and says Cde Mujuru (Joice) took away his tractor? It means she will have to be arrested like what they have done to Mliswa.
“It will be interesting to see how police will deal with this situation because even the police commissioner himself raided farms and took away property and equipment.
“It’s embarrassing but let’s wait and see how it goes. The Mliswa case was discussed at the Zanu (PF) central committee meeting among different sets of people who are all shocked by the development,” said the Zanu PF official.
CFU deputy president, Charles Taffy told the Sunday Times at the weekend that displaced farmers had thousands and thousands of cases of theft and extortion which were reported to police during the height of the bloody invasions which started in 2000 but had been swept under the carpet by politicians.
Taffy said his organisation hoped that the arrest of Mliswa was genuine and said he expects more senior Zanu (PF) officials to face the same fate.
CFU director Hendrik Olivier says they were surprised that only Mliswa was being arrested yet there were many similar cases which have not yet been attended to by police since the invasions began.
During the invasions, some white farmers were made to pay bribes known as “protection fees” by senior politicians and members of the security forces but still went on to lose their farms and property.