Mliswa, ZANU-PF MP Accused Of Demanding $400,000 Bribe

A TOP contractor has accused Norton legislator Temba Mliswa (INDEPENDENT) and his fellow members (two from MDC Alliance, 1 from ZANU-PF) of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy for demanding $400 000 to facilitate the company to get a contract to mine coal at Hwange Colliery.

Businessman James Ross Goddard of JRG Contracting (Pvt) Ltd has written to Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner Godwin Matanga stating that on November 15 last year, Mliswa and his fellow Committee members attempted to “squeeze” his company of $400,000 at a time when efforts were underway to revive Hwange Colliery.

“On the 7th of September 2018, Mr Shepherd Tundiya approached us and advised that he has been seconded to Hwange Colliery by the Office of the President and Cabinet to resolve the problems affecting operations there.

“We advised him that we would be able to assist with mining at Hwange provided that a legitimate contract is in place and that there is a guarantee from the Government of Zimbabwe to adequately fund the mining,” narrated Mr Goddard in documents to Matanga, which were copied to Vice President Kembo Mohadi.

He said they held several meetings with Mr Tundiya in Hwange, Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare.

“On Thursday the 15th of November 2018, our Operations Director, Mr David Steyn, received several requests from Mr Shepherd Tundiya for Mr J R Goddard to urgently meet the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mining on that very day, such that Mr Shepherd Tundiya actually drove from Harare to Shangani to express the urgency of this meeting to Mr J R Goddard. Mr J R Goddard, together with Mr David Steyn, then drove to Harare that evening and were met with – Hon Temba Mliswa (INDEPENDENT MP Norton), Hon Anele Ndebele (MDC Alliance MP Magwegwe), Hon Leonard Chikomba (ZANU-PF MP Gokwe North) and Prince Sibanda (MDC Alliance MP Binga North),” alleges Mr Goddard in the documents.

He then narrates his ordeal.

“After the meeting, Hon Temba Mliswa departed, together with Hon Anele Ndebele, who went to sit in his vehicle. Hon Chikomba and Hon Prince Sibanda then instructed Mr Shepherd Tundiya to demand a facilitation fee of $400 000 in order for JR Goddard Contracting to secure the contract to mine at Hwange, which had to be paid the following day,” said Mr Goddard.

The request was turned down by Mr Goddard.

“The JRG team advised that they could not meet the demand and subsequently advised Mr Shepherd Tundiya that this demand for a facilitation fee goes against the principles that JR Goddard Contracting has been operating under since inception in 1982. Furthermore, this demand is a very serious challenge to his Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s anti-corruption efforts,” said Mr Goddard.

He said he was again summoned on November 21, 2018 by Mr Mliswa.

“On Wednesday the 21st of November 2018, Mr J R Goddard was once again summoned to Harare by Hon Mliswa to discuss a very serious matter at 1700hrs at our J R Goddard Contracting Harare offices. This appointment was changed to 1900hrs at the Ambassador Hotel and then 2000hrs at Hon Mliswa’s Borrowdale home.

Hon Temba Mliswa failed to make these three appointments and eventually met Mr J R Goddard at the Total Service Station in Borrowdale,” said Mr Goddard.

Mr Mliswa allegedly made some demands.

“Mr J R Goddard subsequently advised Hon Temba Mliswa that he is a passionate and loyal Zimbabwean who is committed to the re-construction of our Zimbabwean economy and that proper and official processes must be followed and adhered to.

“He even showed Hon Temba Mliswa a letter he had received from His Excellency, President Dambudzo Mnangagwa, which clearly motivates all citizens of Zimbabwe to pull together and rebuild our Zimbabwean economy,” added Mr Goddard.

Mr Goddard then alerted VP Mohadi and Commissioner General Matanga.

“Thank you for meeting me yesterday in your office and for listening to our great concerns regarding the attempted extortion against our company by the Honourable Temba Mliswa and members of the parliamentary portfolio committee of mines.

“We strongly believe that it is our national duty to bring this matter to your attention in support of our President, His Excellency Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s thrust to fight corruption and to demonstrate that ‘Zimbabwe is truly open for business’,” wrote Mr Goddard to VP Mohadi on November 30, 2018.

He added: “Given the current dynamics and complicities in our Zimbabwean political environment, I am concerned about simply arriving at ZRP Harare Central to make a formal report . . . please could you refer me to a specific senior police officer to whom I may address this matter. It would even be better if this senior police officer could contact me directly and if we could arrange to meet somewhere privately and discreetly. I do not want to compromise my safety and that of my family in any way.”

To Commissioner General Matanga, Mr Goddard wrote: “Whilst our company did not suffer any financial prejudice by the actions of Honourable Temba Mliswa and the Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Mines and Mining Development, it is our duty to report to you their unpatriotic and illegal practices .

“… We ask you to take appropriate and best course of action that is applicable at this stage of our nation’s history.”

Mr Mliswa denied the allegations. In a series of tweets on Sunday, Mliswa said: “I’ve heard of JR Goddard who has corruptly benefited (from association with Mohadi) and is used without a grain of evidence to press charges and will be caught in the net when it closes.

“How is it that he has benefited over more capable indigenous persons? I’ll leave no stone unturned.

“He (Mohadi) is alleged to have always acted in the interests of white people like Goddard and attempted to protect the interests of the Chinese at Sunny Yi Feng from where his tiff with me appears to emanate when I intervened to halt construction pending EMA and working conditions compliance.

“As chairman I meet all sorts of people, others who offer bribes, others who don’t and so forth. What is important is, did I receive the bribe or not? And I hear people and give them the right direction that is what you must understand. That is how it is and it is up to you to then prove that you gave me a bribe. That is what it is important.

“I must meet people who want to talk to me. You meet them, they say a lot of things. It does not stop you from meeting people. Whether I received a bribe or not. If I received a bribe prove it. That is my answer,” said Mr Mliswa.

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