Businessman Temba Mliswa acquitted
By Gibson Nyikadzino
“Matters of this nature should never be brought to this court. We have serious matters to attend to.” These words were yesterday said by Harare regional magistrate William Bhila in his ruling that acquitted businessman Temba Mliswa.
“The accused and the complainant still have a running contract. This is a malicious prosecution and the accused is therefore found not guilty and acquitted,” read Bhila. In broad smiles, an ecstatic Mliswa took gestures of praise and relief after the sentence was read.
Mliswa was cleared of fraud charges, in which the State alleged that he had duped a commercial farmer of his property. The complainant, Petros Jacobus van der Merwe along with his wife had told the court that they had entered into a contractual agreement with Mliswa which they acknowledged is still binding.
The complainant’s wife, Carol van der Merwe also told the court that she had not reported the matter to the police but was called to Holiday Inn by the investigating officer to give a statement. During the trial, Carol had told the court that along with her husband they had not cancelled the mandate for Mliswa to sell their property.
The court also heard from Carol that she did not know why she had come to court after Chinyama charged that it was because of her ignorance that they were at court. The two complainants told the courts that their contractual agreement with Mliswa was still binding.
In the proceedings, Chinyama told the complainants that the matter before the court was not criminal in nature but was one which should have been dealt with in a civil court.
The lawyer had also argued that his client could not have intended to defraud them since he had even paid for part of the goods he bought. The agreement that the complainants had entered with Mliswa was for him to sell their property and they will give him 10 percent of the proceeds. H Metro