Mliswa's case takes a new turn

Mliswa was back in court Thursday for bail hearing in a case he is accused of swindling the RBZ of US$3,5m

RBZ’s  senior division chief of exchange control, Morris Mpofu stunned the court when under cross examination,  he said he had nothing to do with the case leading to defence lawyers accusing police of lying under oath.

Investigating officer, Samuel Masvokweni last week claimed in court that Mpofu had approached the police making a report of fraud involving Mliswa.

He claimed under oath that Mpofu could not come to testify as he was a crucial witness. But the court ruled that he had to testify.

When quizzed by defence lawyer, Mr Charles Chinyama on who had made the report against Mliswa, Mpofu  said: “I would say he (police officer) received a report from RBZ not me.”

“Regarding the Memorandum of deposits facility and the case in question, I am not in a position to comment. I am not the RBZ representative in the case,” he said.

Mpofu said RBZ had recently appointed one Tawengwa Chitauro as head responsible for MOD facilities and he was the best person to testify on the case.

The RBZ official refused to answer Chinyama’s question on why they had reported Mliswa’s case yet there were 29 more companies with the same problem. He also refused to comment on whether Mliswa’s case was civil or criminal.

 “It is surprising that the state is now saying the RBZ official is of no relevance to the state, yet last week they were refusing to call him to testify claiming that he was a crucial witness. It shows that the RBZ witness is under some pressure and fear,” said Chinyama.

It is against this background that Chinyama argued that given the circumstances, Mliswa was a suitable candidate for bail and called on the magistrate to respect Mliswa’s rights by barring the police from arresting him on old cases if  he is released on bail. He suggested that the courts must invite Mliswa to court by way of summons.

Mliswa’s arrest has torched a political storm in the country as some government officials view it as a way of using the maverick businessman as a pawn in Zanu PF’s factional fights.

Mliswa was first arrested last month after publicly accusing police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri of being corrupt.