Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chair and Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa on Tuesday addressed a press conference in Harare at which he responded to state media reports on his dispute with businessman Conrad “Billy” Rautenbach. Below is Part 1 of the address.
How can a shareholder constitute to a scandal, it’s the first I have heard that. That a proper business transaction constitutes a scandal. Yes I was involved in business before as a member of parliament and it was out of my business aspirations that I did enter into arrangements with Billy.
Let me make it known that I am not a businessman who believes in black and white, I am a businessman who believes in a handshake. For me the handshake is key because the key to that handshake is that God is the witness in that hand shake. I am a believer in God. So I have always said what we agree and what a man says we must honor, whether you did sign the paper or not, if it’s not an honorable man, it will still not fly.
So it’s quite important you also understand how I go about my business dealings. But it seems as if The Herald did shift the attention and probably talking about Billy probably is a shift to try and make me to be quiet on some of the issues that happened in Parliament.
I am very determined as a Member of Parliament in my role on oversight to show that the country’s resources at the end of the day whoever is involved has got to account to the country’s resources because the Zim Asset agenda which the Herald has spoken about cannot happen without us dealing with the issue of corruption at the end of the day.
Billy Rautenbach was given a mining concession, 30 percent of Anglo American in Unki. It was under the name Toddal. He was to mine it. He never mined it, he speculated on it. That is also the question I will bring before the Minister of Mines, in terms of what Government policy is there on people who speculate on concessions.
So the mining was never remitted in the country, I don’t know what happened to the money. So the Herald can probably assist in also asking Billy Rautenbach that the Toddal concession given to him for free by the Zimbabwe Government, what happened to it? As far as I know it’sunder another company. He is no longer a shareholder, it’s under a foreign company.
That is tantamount to being fraud and I am hoping that the law enforcing agents will also move totry and insure we deal with corruption. The reason why I zero in on this is because Zim Asset cannot happen if our resources are not accounted for at the end of the day.
Who is Billy Rauntenbach?
It seems we have all forgotten who Billy Rautenbach is. He fled South Africa, then got investigated for serious economic offences, launched a raid on Wheels of Africa in 1999. He was sought in connection with fraud relating to manipulation of import tariffs and siphoning company cash to himself and other fictitious import invoices.
He established a macho operation with John Bredenkamp came and used our soldiers, our Zimbabwean soldiers in the DRC who never got anything in return. He was stopped from entering DRC and he was implicated in the death of the Hyundai owner. In 2000 the DRC withdrew Billy Rautenbach’s mining concessions reportedly after he failed to pay over the state shares of the profit.
In trouble with the authorities, he was deported in 2007. He is not welcome in all of these three countries DRC, South Africa and Botswana and now is in Zimbabwe and is believed to be untouchable. He was PI in DRC and now asks help from this Government. He has never used any of the resources to generate business. Let us ask, how much has he put in Zimbabwe?
It’s about time the journalists did the question. The amount of money Billy Rautenbach has invested in Zimbabwe. We are all keen to see the country taking off. We are keen to see investors bringing in their money. Not investors who use the country’s resources on speculation, then sell, then go set up a plant in Chisumbanje.
Can you account for the transaction? Can you see the paper trail of where the money came from off shore? So I think it’s also important that the very same paper does move into understanding how much money Billy invested in Zimbabwe?
Or it’s a question of the Zimbabwe resources that he speculates on then he uses that money to say he has got money. That’s something we need to understand at the end of the day.
Billy owns a company called Sabot he is no longer in control of it, it’s in the hands of foreigners as well. He grew up on a farm in Karoi where he beat up blacks and he was known for having done that. His name Nharo emanates from the fact that ‘ane nharo’ and anenge achirwisana nevanhu vatema nekuti anenharo. His car’s number plate is Nharo. So you must understand, nharo for what?
So we will not be swayed in a white man. We have asked the ministers who are black to account , what about a white man? And suddenly the thing called state media takes a position on a white man, quite shocking indeed! How does Zim Asset grow. So I thought it would be pretty clear.
Of late he owes Zinwa US$7million so how is the economy going to take off? He is making cash everyday on the mandatory fuel but cannot pay the Government. How much money has he put on to the fiscus with the all the resources he has been given? That is the question we must ask.
How much is he contributing to the fiscus of this country? He has got Nuanetsi Ranch which is there. He has got 2000 sq km in Chiore. He has got Chisumbanje over 30 000 hectares. As far as I am concerned he is the single largest land owner in this country and he is white. I thought our position was to take land from the whites and give it to the blacks. So where have we shifted in terms of policy as the Government?
That’s our role as oversight
In terms of the transactions which were there, it was meant they were done above board. At no point did I go to him. He was introduced to me. He was introduced to me, he looked for me and he saw the energy in me. He saw the proactivity in me and he decided to hire me as a consultant. I never went to him. He brought his entire management to my offices at Eastgate, so that I might meet them, and introduced me as a consultant at the end of the day.
Why then does he claim that I extorted him when he used his helicopter to land at my farm? Would you land on a farm of a person who is an extortionist? All the way from Harare you then land on my farm. So it’s very clear for us to understand some of the transactions that were there. Yes its normal business practice to mind a share of the cake if you are involved there is nothing amiss about that.
It has never been amiss. And since 2011 September we then withdrew the transactions on the basis that the minister of Presidential Affairs and State Security now Honourable Mutasa came to me and said Billy had approached him for us to settle this out of court.
The onus is up to you to go and ask the Honorable Minister, did Billy ask you to settle this out of court? Because as an Honourable Member of Parliament and also happens to be my uncle, I trusted that. Would you not trust your uncle? I then trusted my uncle. I decided that the matter must be settled out of court because he had gone and asked him to do that. Basil Nyabadza was there. I was the one who knew Billy, Basil Nyabadza never knew Billy. Why was I on a flight from Harare to thing Arda? Certainly I was not on that flight as an attendant. It was a helicopter.
A helicopter does not need a flight attendant. What was I doing? You can go and check the records at the airport, who left on that flight. So it’s good for him to answer, what was I doing on that flight? Yes as a director I had allowances that were given to me and yes I don’t come cheap. Sorry I don’t come cheap. I am not one of those who get satisfied by being given an envelope and then I go.
I want a stake in the business, especially when it is a lucrative business. I approached the Government and Honorable Savanhu was the chairman of Hwange. We wanted to do business with Hwange. What is wrong with approaching the chairman of the company? It was then left to the CEO to deal with it.
Again that transaction did not come out the way it was supposed to come out. He had promised the Government and look into the agreement onthat transaction. The Herald must get a copy for me. Now that they have got a good relationship with him. Can you tell the country what that transaction was about, I will tell you what it was about?
He went to the Government and pledged, promised that he would increase power generation by supplying coking coal to the thermal power station. At that point in time there was never any power generation improved in the country. As a result he exported coking coal out of the country so we need now the figures from the Herald how much of the coking coal he was mining went to the power station and how much of it was exported?
Let’s deal with the thing facts so here is some of the things for the Herald to look into it now that they have got the information they can ask the minister of mines for that agreement. He never honoured that. Secondly there was the aspect of Chisumbanje where Basil Nyabadza is involved unfortunately Basil has become an Uncle Tom. On the Save Conservancy he was busy fronting whites.
Where there are whites are involved, he is there. He has no spine. He resigned as a provincial chairman of Zanu-PF to pursue the interests of whites in this country because Zanu-PF would certainly compromise. He is sort of Uncle Tom, a nice guy amongst whites. Save Conservancy he was in the forefront, read. You are journalists why don’t you look into.
He was in the fore front of defending whites again. Today he is in the forefront defending whites again. We are beyond a situation where we think whites are superior to blacks. It’s against the Government policy. It’s against what we are advocating for at the end of the day. It’s about compliance.
I am a Member of Parliament and it so happens that I know much about that transaction. So knowledge is power. So why don’t I get this knowledge to get the country moving forward. I am not the one who talked about the compliance 51/49 and when I ask in Parliament I am asking in my role as a Member of Parliament where there is oversight.
Yes you need parliamentarians who research, who have knowledge so that there are facts. So what is wrong with that? I separate issues. Let us separate issues. The aspect of compliance, he must comply because that is what the Government requires him to do. Government needs money. There was four million litres which went missing the other day in Chisumbanje, why did the Herald not talk about that?
It was taken out of this country. It was exported to another country. Then we had a problem, there was a bit of a panic. No wonder why Government switched over to get ethanol from Triangle. Did you not understand that? Why suddenly do they give a company mandatory monopoly. But yet they now go to another company that produces ethanol and then supply ethanol.
It’s because the country was going to be brought to a halt because four million was exported. so you cannot have such a strategic commodity controlled by any individual because he can easily wake up one day and say I am not going to give you fuel. So this is why we are pushing for Government to be involved and unfortunately it’s taking longer than expected.
And Billy claims to own the entire Government at the end of the day. No wonder why the ministers are dilly darling at the end of the day, but we will continuously ask them because it is important that the thing fiscus it does get money. So that Zim Asset does take off at the end of the day.
Yes it was shareholding
Hwange transaction was above board, it was based on commission on the tonnage that he would mine. On the tonnage he would mine and I would get a commission at the end of the day. On Unki I refused a commission, I then said I would need a shareholding, I was a 10 percent shareholding. And all these transactions happened in front of people, people of repute.
And when I am sitting with national leaders and we agree I consider the deal signed and sealed, But yes we have a problem with politicians who are hungry who then circumvent you so that they can go through. It’s also normal business practice.
Whether its normal business practice I don’t know, but in Zimbabwe we would call it normal business practice, where you take somebody to a leader and the next thing that leader is circumventing you dealing with that. So there was an exchange of many brown envelopes and the time will come when we will name who received an envelope and who did not.
This was my sweat I worked for it and I told him that you might not pay me now but none of your business will prosper because my spirit and the God I pray would not allow you to prosper and that is all I said to him. Thereafter I have never spoken to him and you can see the problems in his enterprises today because he is not a genuine businessman.
He is not honest, he is a crook, he is a crook and His Excellency is on record saying that can we vet every businessman who comes in the country. We seem to take crooks in, who destroy the country at the end of the day. So I think we should be able to separate issues by all means.
ENRC has taken over Carmec, they have taken over CARMEC, they have taken over Toddal. I can give you information you can Google it. It is there. It helps us to move forward. ENRC acquisition of central African mining exploration in December 2009. ENRC acquired 95.4 percent of the shares of the central African mining corporation and that included Zimbabwe and Billy what is his percentage at the end of the day in that?
So I think this information is up for you to look into it and try to investigate and so forth. I am aware of the shift. I am aware of the position I have taken as a legislator. I was elected by the people to stand for the people. I will never shy away from telling the truth. That is the reason why when I call for ministers to account equally I must also respond.
I have got to be consistent. I cannot call for ministers to account when I am not also able to account. So I have come to you, as honest as I am, to also meet you to also account. So I equally I hope that those who are also said to be involved will also call for a press conference and also account for the wealth which is something which we must not mince our words about , we must continue.
Basil Nyabadza has benefited with a house in Mutare. Can you call him where he got that house from. His companies are not doing very well. Billy Rautenbach bought a house for him. No wonder why he has become a spokesperson for Billy. No wonder why when you talk about Green fuel, it is Basil Nyabadza.
You must tell him that the true shareholder in this business says that Billy bought you a house when you requested Temba Mliswa to talk to Billy about that and the house has been bought in Mutare. Can you show the world where you got the money from? So let’s not have Uncle Toms talking what they are ah eh…… I come to you because I have got no skeletons in my wardrobe.
If I do not come here there would be so much speculation. I am subject to being investigated to being asked and so forth. Issues of extortion. Listen he has got a right to go and report to the Central Police Station that I did extort him and investigations must happen. I am not new to investigations, I am sure you are all aware of that.
So why then talk about it in the press if it is of any national interest, report the matter to the police station and let the law take its course.
Equally I am also saying what happened to the Toddal Concession that was given to you to mine. He must answer if he does not answer then I will also to go to the police station and also put a report that there was a Todour concession given to Billy Rustenburg and he speculated it and it was fraud. Money never came into the country. Where did it go we all must know? T
here must be an investigation to the Chisumbanje Plant, one minute it is US$650 million the next minute it is US$400 million. The entire Zimplats Rolls Royce equipment never cost that much. Ladies and gentlemen can you honestly compare Chisumbanje to Zimplats? Come on, who are they trying to bluff?
The days of bluffing Honourable Members of Parliament who had no information are long gone. We have a mandate to say to this nation, we have a mandate to take this nation out of the hole that it is in and doing so requires us to be pretty clear.
Finally I would challenge the thing Herald. I am not one who likes to sue, if I wanted to sue you newspapers I would be surely rich by now, but I would also give guidance to the Herald. The Herald must prove that ‘’the letter shows that Mliswa withdrew after he approached Mr. Rautenbach seeking urgent financial help to cover another deal but assistance was premised on cessation of all demands on Rautenbach’’.
The Herald must prove the cash I was given. Equally they have also produced information on the letters. So where is the cash I was given? I think the journalists must report responsibly with facts and that small envelope you are given is not worth it at the end of the day. The corruption in the media is also getting out of hand and this article is nothing but a few people who have been paid.
How can you call a scandal ah yes these are big deals. No wonder why it is $165 million dollars. It is the value of the transaction and I am not the one who is used so I wonder. How can it be a scandal? I told you the role that Mutasa played. In us wanting to go to Chisumbanje he is a leader in Manicaland, it is no secret.
Munosvikaka kumusha kwababa moti tichada kupindawo ka ne investment iyi. I had applied for this but I did not have the money. I then incorporated Billy, Billy was interested in Arda Sisi and I told him Arda Sisi is too small why don’t you go to Chisumbanje. So the relationship with Mutasa is him being a senior Government leader and the leader of Manicaland to say we are coming to invest.
Savanhu was him being a board chairperson of Hwange, Nyabadza was being a board chairman of Arda. So when you are dealing with Arda transaction and you have access to the board chairman you go and tell him so that he understands your vision. There is nothing sinister about that at all.
And since 2009 I have not demanded any money from him at all and for him to say extortion we never met to then deal with this matter out of court but I have said then listen it is now in the hands of the Lord and what I know his businesses will not prosper because he is not honest.
Ladies and gentlemen let us really understand who Billy Rautenbach is. Let’s not be excited by these brown envelopes we get to just make you pay rent in a month and fuel to just get you home. I think if we are to really get to help this country let’s deal with serious issues. Let the headline read, “Rautenbach fails to justify why he failed to mine’’ because that is a country resource worth billions.
That concession 30 percent of Anglo-American is said to be worth four billion. That is the issue we must talk about. So I think I would like to guide Takunda Maodza that it’s important that we deal with facts that we deal with issues that…. Billy has got into Parliament and already has corrupted some Members of Parliament.