By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Outspoken MP, Temba Mliswa (Norton), has slammed the Zanu PF government for giving controversial businessman Billy Rautenbach tenders and contracts that he could not deliver, alleging that he had captured the state.
Mliswa said Rautenbach was given a Todal concession worth USD$2billion and sold it without delivering meaningful production, hence he bemoaned the racial stance that the government took when fighting corruption.
Mliswa castigated government for giving Rautenbach mining claims in Hwange and Chisumbanje adding that ethanol had become more expensive in fuel when instead it is supposed to be mined in the country.
“We seem to want to go for the indigenous people who’re alleged to have captured the state but look at people like Rautenbach, why’re we quiet? Call it personal if you will but the facts are he was given the Todal concession worth USD2b; he didn’t mine it, he speculated and sold it.
“He’s been given a Hwange concession in fact the Western section which is the life of Hwange and strategic to the country; no mining activities have taken place, speculation again?
“Chisumbanje he was supposed to be part of the indigenisation through the ethanol scheme; he didn’t do it. Why does he have monopoly & why is ethanol so expensive & content in fuel so high to the detriment of vehicle performance?” Mliswa added.
According to Mliswa, Rautenbach has been given land without title deeds, leading to the evacuation of more than 20 thousand people through police force.
He said that the police was captured by Rautenbach that they even racially fight their fellow men and women and order then to vacate houses for the sake of personal advantages.
“He’s taken land in the Kambuzuma/Marimba area without title deeds; Rothmans had title which they gave to government and during RGM’s time it was given to the people. They’ve settled there & built houses Out of the blue he comes with letters claiming to falsely own title.
“People were given offer letters but because Rautenbach is working with political heavyweights, Chidau allegedly one, there’s an ominous silence. Zimbabwe Republic Police with AK47s are equally being abused by being deployed to patrol the area as a method of intimidation.
“They go door to door forcing people to sign papers to vacate the area. In the absence of a court order one wonders on what authority this is carried out? Houses are being wantonly demolished; 20,000 innocent people are crying out loud but it’s falling on deaf ears.
“Should we honestly just watch this happening with folded arms? He has a penchant for working with the army & is alleged to be one who plundered in the DRC; we were quiet. He’s never been an honest business person & the illegal land deals are all he’s got going for him.
“He’s on the verge of receiving more land for another sugar plantation in Chirundu. Why are ZERA Energy and MOEPD quiet regarding this monopoly? Mnangagwa why is he getting away with this?” he added.
Mliswa said that economic problems divert attention from dealing with corruption and yet it was the biggest contributor to current woes.
“We concentrate on the Tagwireis but he didn’t give himself the money. Let there be accountability from Treasury.
“There’re no sacred cows, let’s look at corruption holistically regardless of race. Who’re the gold barons of this country? Nobody wants to talk about it; we can’t work like that. For as long as we don’t account for the country’s resources we’ll never be the economy we want to be,” added Mliswa.
In 2014 however, Mliswa claimed to have helped Rautenbach secure some of these contracts.
According to Rautenbach, Mliswa approached him in 2014 in the capacity of an investment consultant, but when he realised that he was not sincere in his approach to business and had “extortionist tendencies”, he claims to have immediately cut ties with him.
“His submissions pertaining to our various projects are baseless falsehoods,” Rautenbach said.
Mliswa claimed it was Rautenbach who approached him for assistance to secure the Hwange, Unki and Chisumbanje deals, culminating in his incessant letters of demand.
The dealings sucked in Didymus Mutasa, Deputy Lands Minister and Politburo member Tendai Savanhu and Basil Nyabadza.
Nehanda Radio reported at the time how Mliswa demanded at least US$165 million for helping the businessman secure those investments.
He wanted Rautenbach to pay him US$100 million as his 10 percent shareholding in an Unki Mine concession, which he says Mr Rautenbach improperly sold for US$1 billion to British investors.
“I took him to every high-ranking official he knows today in Government. I was part and parcel of it. He said my shares cannot be made public because I am a Zanu-PF politician and he will not get funding. He used to pay me. He has stopped and I took the legal route.
“He then confronted high-ranking officials in Government for me to withdraw my papers. I took him to Chisumbanje on a helicopter. What did he think I was doing in that helicopter risking my life? It was not a free ride,” Mliswa said in 2014. Nehanda Radio