Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Mliswa acquitted

Mliswa acquitted

By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Sunday, 29 May 2011 15:49

HARARE – Businessman and former fitness trainer turned commercial farmer, 
Temba Mliswa, has been acquitted of charges of intimidation and contravening 
the Post and Telecommunications Services Act.

Mliswa was yesterday cleared of the charges by regional magistrate Morgan 
Nemadire, who described complainant Paul Westwood’s allegations of fear as 
“figments of imagination”.

Charges against Mliswa arose in December 2009, when he allegedly forced 
Westwood to hand over his firm.

The State alleged that Mliswa approached Westwood at Noshio Motors in Msasa, 
a company Westwood co-owned with one Banda and induced fear in him so that 
he would hand over the firm.

Westwood told the court that Mliswa had sent him a message which he 
interpreted as a threat to him and his family.

“I believed he was going to hurt me if I was not going to cede my company,” 
he said.

Mliswa denied the charges, saying that when he approached Westwood he wanted 
to introduce himself to the businessman and his employees since he had 
acquired shares that belonged to Banda.

In his judgment, magistrate Nemadire pointed out that the state had 
completely failed to prove a prima facie case against Mliswa. He said 
Westwood had a very strong interest in the matter.

“This is a scenario of the boxing match where each party fights to win. The 
fact that this was a single witness and is the sole proof that we have 
against the accused creates a scarcity of evidence.

“There would have been a compelling need for corroborating Westwood’s 
evidence,” the magistrate said.

He said Westwood’s evidence was unreliable considering that none of the 
three witnesses that testified in court corroborated his evidence.

“The evidence of the three witnesses who were like defence witnesses, was 
similar on the material dispute of facts. They never heard accused (Mliswa) 
threatening Westwood but instead he urged employees not to meddle in 
administration and managerial issues,” said Nemadire.

In a statement to court, one of Westwood’s employees, Naison Mudukuti had 
stated that: “Mr Mliswa introduced himself to us and went on to say that he 
had bought 50 percent company shares which belonged to Mr Banda and that the 
remaining shares still belonged to Mr Westwood.”

Samuel Mukupe and Wonder Rwatirera, who are both employees of Noshio Motors, 
echoed Mudukuti’s sentiments. They explained that Mliswa had told them that 
he was going to be one of the directors and expected to have a good working 
relationship with the rest of them.


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