In June 2011 controversial former fitness trainer turned businessman and Zanu PF politician Temba Mliswa was acquitted on charges of trying to forcibly wrestle Noshio Investments, a million-dollar vehicle accessories company owned by British businessman Paul Westwood.
In an exclusive interview with journalist Lance Guma, Westwood alleges that Mliswa bribed the presiding magistrate Never Katiyo who suddenly acquired a US$12 000 car while on a US$200 a month salary.
He also alleges Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa played a key role in the acquittal of Mliswa and his co-accused Hammarskjold Banda, Brendaly Banda, Alfred Mwatiwamba, George Marere and Martin Mutasa (Mutasa’s son).
Lance Guma: Lets start with Noshio Motors incorporating Benbar/Tromps. In December 2009 you claim Mliswa forced you out of the company. How did that happen?
Paul Westwood: I suspended Pastor Hammarskjold Banda’s wife Brendaly who was in charge of finance and administration. I had suspected something irregular was going on in my company so on the advice of the company lawyer at the time (Shepard Makonyere). I asked him to secure the services of a forensic audit company which he duly did.
This did not go down well with Hammarskjold who was in South Africa at the time. He drove back immediately so he could comfort his wife. He did not come back to work until 18 December 2009.
On the 18th December 2009 Hammarskjold Banda and Brendaly Banda (who was still suspended pending the auditor’s report ran the payroll and awarded herself, her husband, her sister (who worked in sales) and Alfred Mwatiwamba /aka Banda, (Hammarskjold’s cousin) a Christmas bonus.
They brought in Temba Mliswa accompanied by Nigel- Godknows- Murambirwa, Mutasa’s illegitimate son Martin Mutasa, Susan Musa (Brendaly’s sister) and Alfred Mwatiwamba.
Temba said he was chairman of a “Banda Trust”. No such trust exists as a search was done by our then lawyer Victor Zvobgo on 23/02/10. Temba Mliswa was brought in to use his “Political Muscle” and prevent the audit from happening AT ANY COST, plain and simple.
On the 18 December Hammarskjold Banda along with Temba broke down the door to his wife’s office (I had changed the lock) and destroyed company documentation including but not limited to, personal loan accounts, I.O.U’s, computers, files, records, cheque books, insurance files, asset register, cash on hand which was substantial and phone records.
Guma: When this happened what did you do?
Westwood: In fear of my life I left. The keys were taken forcibly by Nigel. Mliswa spoke to the workers in the factory in my presence and said “I now own the company this murungu has nothing to do with this company anymore, in line with indigenisation so don’t question me or none of you will see your wife and children again!”
At this point I grabbed my wife (who was privy to this and going to testify on the stand) and sped off in my car. I was not there at the time the door was broken down but even months afterwards, the damage could be seen.
The workers informed me! There was nothing I could do! I told Shepard Makonyere so it could be recorded by the company lawyer. I was intimidated, shaking and taken aback by his comments and knew something was not right.
I have never acknowledged Temba Mliswa as a shareholder/Chairman/Partner/Director or any other.
The only other Shareholder is Hammarskjold Banda. Temba’s “speech” to the workers was in front of Hammarskjold Banda, Brendaly Banda, Alfred Mwatiwamba, Nigel Murambirwa, Susan Musa (Brendaly’s sister).
The “Senior Pastor” of the church took great pleasure in watching while I was threatened and intimidated by Temba who smirked at everything. (Hammarskjold even had the audacity to send me and my family a happy new year’s greeting). This “Pastor” was an excellent conman who went to jail in Bulawayo for fraud but his wife deliberately hid this!
Guma: In his ruling Magistrate Never Katiyo who handled the fraud case said “In my view Westwood felt threatened by the accused. If the big names were mentioned they were meant to instil fear and not misrepresentation. Instilling fear does not amount to fraud.” Your response to that?
Westwood: – Conspiracy! First Temba stated in the press “I am claiming what is mine” then he is the “Chairman of a Banda Trust” (Which has never existed) Then he said the shares were “donated” – The real story goes (The Standard June 27 – July 3, 2010) that Hammarskjold Banda borrowed US$100,000.00 (ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) from Temba at 5% interest per month June 2009.
Banda had bought fake world cup Bafana Bafana football jerseys from China to re-sell them at the World cup. The container was impounded on its’ way to Zimbabwe and ALL the shirts were burnt. Banda’s “get rich quick plan” went up in smoke as he was going to pay back Temba from the profits and keep a cool US$250,000.00 FOR HIMSELF!
His wife Brendaly has a clothing business and has contacts in China. She was selling suits and clothing to church members. When Temba called for his money plus interest US$125,000.00 Banda could not pay. He was forced to part with his shares.
This is where the fraud part comes into play, according to company law and articles governing the company as a Director/Shareholder Hammarskjold Banda cannot mortgage a company to settle personal debts! The “Banda Trust” had to be approved by me first and the company lawyer notified in advance.
I could decline if I wanted to! Hammarskjold Banda was convicted by MAGISTRATE OMEGA MARINGA to a wholly suspended six months’ jail term on condition he would not commit a similar offence within the next 3 years! (NEWSDAY DECEMBER 7 2010) – WHAT WAS TEMBA MLISWA DOING AT MY COMPANY?? –
To cover up this HUGE FRAUD that Hammarskjold Banda and His wife had committed at my company in the 1st place but did not want to be held accountable for their actions and decisions!!(Banda probably even lied to Temba and said the British white man is trying to steal my company to make it racial and political) Temba Mliswa who knowingly committed fraud, should have thought about the consequences of his actions and decisions too, but there again he was never going to get caught, “because he is above the law”?
Guma: In May 2011 you wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutors (Attorney Generals Office) complaining about the closing of the state’s case against Temba Mliswa and five others. What were your grounds for doing this?
Westwood: The truth needed to be heard period! I actually hand delivered the document together with my wife and Mrs Zinyembe was surprised to hear this. MY WIFE was next to testify on the 4th April but could not do so as Magistrates were on strike!
In the presence of another prosecutor my wife asked T.G. Nyasha “when would you like me to come back”? He said “I will advise you accordingly.” The next thing we know is the trial has been closed and the witnesses not notified or called. We only knew about it as it came out in the press in April 2011.
Mrs Zinyembe called T.G. Nyasha to her office and was furious! She asked him (In front of me, my wife, Chris Mutangadura and Mr Dube) why are you closing the case when you still have 3 other witnesses to build a water tight case against the accused. He said “It was an oversight on my side.” There were still 3 other witnesses to testify including my wife, a lady from the deeds office, the investigating officer.
Guma: It was reported Mliswa beat his own workers with barbed wire and found guilty of this horrendous crime, but only paid a $50 fine! Was that a sign for you that you would not get any justice?
Westwood: – It was a sign to take Temba very serious about the death threats on my life. I had several different people coming to my home (Fortunately we had an electric gate) purporting to be police and said Temba had sent them.
The Detective Segeant Chikupo came in person. He verbally abused my wife in front of our 6 year old at the time, and said “if you don’t open this gate we will come back at night shoot the dogs and drag your husband out.” It was like Temba had his “own police force” working for him from Ahmed House.
It was a sign for me to take his death threats to me very serious, as well as him stating he would rape my wife and kidnap our two Belgian boys. He has a very long history of violence, intimidation, beatings and harassment of those who has something he wants and can just take.
Michael Reza the public prosecutor was given a copy of Temba Mliswa’s phone records which contained the message.
“I suggest you stick to my advice Paul before it’s too late. Plenty skeletons in your wardrobe, warn you, stop it and NOW.”
Under the law, it is illegal to send offensive threatening messages except if you are a relative of a Zanu-PF Minister.
Guma: Mliswa and his five co-accused at the time will point to the fact that they were acquitted by a magistrate in court? Do you feel let down by the justice system in Zimbabwe?
Westwood: – Extremely as I lost my entire investment. There is no justice system as they have to take orders from the chefs. The Magistrates could do nothing as orders were coming from the top! Didymus Mutasa was not going to let his son or nephew go to jail no matter what. He proved that when he went to Matapi they had won the “trial” before it even started but had to go through the procedure.
Please note another important fact—Shepard Makonyere against my wishes and interest saw Temba and tried to convince me to meet with him as well as entertaining Temba’s wife Cynthia, who has legal training and always tries to clean up after him and protect him, who wanted me to sign a document saying all was well and I acknowledged him.
I never went back to Shepard as he was deliberately acting against my wishes. Later on, after having Victor Zvogbo as a lawyer, brilliant and honest, Temba was arrested on March 30 2010 for the death threats (he tried to sue the police saying he had been held for a long period of time, but the police had pictures of him at the Rainbow Towers meeting Julius Malema whilst he claimed he was still locked up!).
And Victor’s senior Partner at Mbiribire and Associates tried to order him to tell me to drop charges as he was a personal friend of the family (Norma) and wanted to help them which is entirely unethical and is grounds for disbarment.
Victor had the courage and ethics to refuse, but we left him so as to save him and fought most of the court battles without honest representation before Charles Warara, great integrity and character who is still fighting our case to this day. Temba is also close friends with Stan Kasukuwere – brother of Saviour Kasukuwere who was then the Minister for Indigenisation.
In a sense Temba did hear something about indigenisation but jumped the gun by using it on December 18 2009 when it was only gazetted on March 1 2010. Why was the case not referred to be overturned when my wife and others wanted to take the stand in Katiyo’s courtroom?
The AG’S office refused to see us when we queried this constantly—ask Mr Dube, Mr Mutangadure and Mrs Zinyembe. My wife had even showed Nyasha a blue form from the border which shows Matiwamba as a Malawian passport holder when on the fake CRV created by Brendaly Banda, he appears as Zimbabwean- against the law for dual nationality?
The law states that in prosecuting one crime, if evidence appears showing evidence of another, the defendants must be charged as well. All blue forms from the Border show the Banda’s claiming Vat IN THEIR PERSONAL NAMES , NOT THE COMPANY NAME AND EVEN THEIR CHILREN ARE IMPLICATED.
The whole case is a massive deliberate conspiracy—the only one not there as he had absconded, but should have been charged as well was Nigel Godknows Murambiwa—the Minister’s illegitimate son who was very active in terrorising people from Mt Darwin, Chinhoyi and Karoi.
How did Temba open another bank account without my permission and with what documents? Premier Bank themselves committed a criminal act by allowing this.
Also, why did Theresa Makone come to help Temba when she never even bothered once to come to help MDC people locked up, persecuted and never granted bail? We know now she is related to the Mliswa’s but never once helped people of her own party who faced far, far worse.
Guma: You appear unhappy with the conduct of the Magistrates who dealt with your cases?
Westwood: Never Katiyo was the magistrate in my illegal company seizure case! Ask him how he bought his new car on a $200 per month salary? The police claimed they had a eye witness who was too scared to testify.
Soon after Never Katiyo “acquitted” Mliswa and others. The police were suspicious as to how he had suddenly acquired a $12,000 vehicle. I am sure CVR, will be able to show you who the previous owner was?
Guma: Another Magistrate, Morgan Nemadire handled the death threat case. You have also expressed reservations about his integrity?
Westwood: He stated the death threats were “a figment of my imagination.” My wife found it very interesting that Charles Chinyama never wrote a word of the judgement down and that it was striking similar in tone to his questions and cross examinations and very similar words appeared in another Mliswa acquittal (a female Magistrate who claimed the police were mentally unstable!!) Too much coincidence? Look at all the wording of his Acquittals.
Guma: At one point the Attorney-General’s representative, Godwin Takawira Nyasha and lawyer Charles Chinyama were arrested and charged for allegedly influencing the outcome of the case. What was their role in this?
Westwood: – Chinyama attacked and defamed my character which had nothing to do with the case and was arrested for obstructing justice whilst Nyasha connived with Chinyama and the defendants to deliberately collapse the case.
TG Nyasha was also the nephew of Jonathan Samkange – had a secret meeting in 2010 before representing Charles Chinyama about running for Zanu-PF in Mashonaland East. We knew this way before it ever became public knowledge. T.G. Nyasha was arrested regarding my case! He turned state witness.
Unfortunately 48 hours after his release he “mysteriously” died. He was going to testify that Johannes Tomana (who was Mliswa’s lawyer in 2000 during the farm invasions) ordered him to close the case as the facts were overwhelmingly stacked in my favour and I was right, white and British. Zanu PF cannot lose to the WEST no matter what! The police said he was poisoned.
Guma: Do you feel Mliswa’s relationship with Didymus Mutasa helped him in this case?
Westwood: 100% not only that, Mliswa’s parents, Temba’s mother is Didymus’s sister who lives in Luton (UK) flew back to Zimbabwe to beg the President to pardon their son! Mutasa also asked the President to pardon his nephew! Gerald Mlotshwa who is Mutasa’s lawyer drafted the fake “Banda Trust” so Mutasa could NOT afford any exposure!
Mutasa also threatened police at Matapi police station along with Theresa Makoni the then Minister for Home Affairs. Mlotshwa is suing the EU for removal of sanctions as it is against Human Rights, yet he was a willing participant in the whole illegal take-over and remains Mutasa’s lawyer. How do British citizens get to see the President who is so anti-British and is it not against Zimbabwe law to have dual nationality?
Guma: What prompted you to make the decision to flee Zimbabwe?
Westwood: I have all newspaper clippings/picture/articles pertaining to my case so I wanted to go public with my story. I wanted the public to know the truth. I met with the Financial Gazette. For security reasons I cannot say who, but I was strongly advised to stop making noise and go! We know way too much about the various factions, alignments and details of deals and things they have done.
What has never come out is that Temba Mliswa, Nigel Godknows Murambira, Hammarskjold Banda and Alfred Mwatiwamba went to see Retired Air Vice Marshal Henry Muchena in November in 2009 to run their scheme by him.
Muchena categorically told them NOT to do it as it was illegal. (Muchena was a customer of Noshio Motors and Benbar who followed me from Nuffield Toyota as he trusted me to work on his personal vehicle) Mliswa ignored Muchena and told him My Uncle (Mutasa) will back me no matter what!!
What is worthy to note here is that we knew Mutasa was hauled “over the coals” in a very tense specially convened Politburo meeting in July 2010 for Mliswa’s taking of the company as his deliberate interference with obstructing the course of Justice by threatening the Police at Matapi police station.
Orders “from the top” instructed the press that my side of the story cannot be made public! X said if they were caught meeting with me they would be killed. They told me my life was in GREAT danger so I made the necessary plans and left.
Fighting a serving Minster with Mutasa’s power (EX CIO BOSS) and considering his role in the bloody 2008 elections, takes backing. I was ignored as others have also committed illegal seizures and no-one wants to be accountable.
I was emotionally drained, financially destroyed as all my money and property were tied up in the company and most importantly reeling from the deliberate betrayal of Hammarskjold Banda, a man I believed to be my brother and friend: A man I had personally vouched for in the face of suspicions of my wife and friends.
I had discovered he forged my signature in July 2007 on a letter of recommendation to obtain a visa to go to Israel on a Holy pilgrimage for a Celebration Ministries International- I was in hospital recovering from a back operation during the time this letter was given to the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria!(fraud again and shown to the British Consulate).
There were people parked continually outside our rented home (which we were going to buy but subsequently lost due to Mliswa and Banda) to intimidate and try to catch me and beat me but after the threats to kidnap my boys – one of whom was at the same school as Minister Mutasa’s mistress masquerading as his so called fourth wife- Mrs Chifambere and 2 young sons –Alistair and Jowannie (Hartman House and St Michael’s—A prestigious Catholic School.)
I had to reassess the situation. My boys often went hungry and were not allowed to go to the gate, have friends over and were under school protection all the time so they could not be taken from there! How do you explain a betrayal like this and the danger to us all? Evil does not always appear to have the face of a stranger—I had harboured the Judas close to me.
Guma: I take it you are still actively campaigning over this case. What sort of conclusion are hoping to get and who are you talking to or appealing to for help?
Westwood: Yes I am actively campaigning and the conclusion I am hoping for is compensation for what was wrongfully done to me and my family and the injustice due to greed, loss of entire investment, corruption, politics, all because I wanted an audit to expose the TRUTH about my company which had nothing to do with Temba Mliswa! I did nothing to this man and he chose to become involved, stay involved and commit further crimes. His greatest weakness is his need for respect and he is not a has-been; he is a never-will be.
I worked hard for my money and have all the documents as well as independent verification to prove my capital injections/loans to start Noshio and pay off company debts. I have yet to see proof of how Banda paid for his shares plus independent verification as well as his wife’s total involvement in all financial irregularities and breach of law.