Friday, June 17, 2005

VP's of the same vice (will they meet the same fate?)

The big news out of southern Africa this week was Thabo Mbeki's firing of his vice-president over incriminating ties to a known fraudster.

North of the Limpopo in Harare, it also emerged this week that both of Mugabe's deputies have had similarly dubiuos flirtations with criminals.

Joseph Msiska, the senior vice president, had his name dropped in the protracted trial of Banket farmer and businessan, Cecil Muderede, who faces charges of externalising foreign currency and hoarding/exporting agricultural produce (which, by law must be sold to the state's grain procurement entity for peanuts off course). The fun part about this tale is that I didn't even have to go dig through the indepent media to find it, the government's propaganda daily The Horrid, carried the story.

In this Thursday report which should be titled "Vice President Implicated in Muderede Trial," The Herald reports;
"CHINHOYI businessman and commercial farmer Cecil Muderede, on trial for various economic crimes, threatened a Grain Marketing Board senior official after the parastatal seized maize and wheat at his Shankuru Estates Farm in Banket, a Harare magistrate’s court heard yesterday.

GMB loss control officer Mr Crispen Saidi made the revelation when he gave evidence during Muderede’s ongoing trial.

Mr Saidi told presiding magistrate Mrs Sandra Nhau that Muderede called him from Botswana and threatened to deal with GMB officials who had participated in the seizure of his grains.

"I tried to get hold of him on the phone but I could not get through. I think after three days or so he called me saying that he was in Botswana and asked me if I knew who he was.

"He said he would finish us all," said Mr Saidi, who was led by prosecutor Mr Obi Mabahwana.

When asked how Muderede was going to deal with them, Mr Saidi said he did not even have time to ask Muderede since he was fuming and that he only managed to listen to what he was saying.

Mr Saidi said when he went to inspect Muderede’s farm, he found 1 803 536 tonnes of maize and over 59 665 tonnes of wheat, which he later seized.

He said Muderede’s young brother, Kuvimba, resisted the inspection and subsequent seizure of the maize and wheat.

He even ordered farm workers to attack the GMB officials and policemen who seized the crop.

Mr Saidi said a police officer and two GMB employees were injured during the clashes with workers.

He added that Muderede’s wife and young brother resisted the inspection and invited him to speak to a very prominent person on the phone.

However, he refused, he said.

Mr Saidi refused to name the said prominent person saying he had reasons to withhold the name of the person.

The investigating officer in the matter, Chief Superintendent Musarashana Mabunda, last year told magistrate Ms Memory Chigwaza that top Government officials were interfering with Muderede’s probe..."
Friday's edition of the paper in this article mistitled 'Msiska Warned Muderede' continues;

"VICE-PRESIDENT Joseph Msika warned Chinhoyi businessman and commercial farmer Cecil Muderede on trial over illegal wheat and maize transactions and various economic crimes that if he were actually involved in the illegal deals, he would be arrested.

This was said by Mr Crispen Saidi, a GMB loss control officer, during yesterday’s hearing being presided by Mrs Sandra Nhau.

Mr Saidi testified that he was summoned to parliament buildings where the Vice President questioned him why the company had seized wheat and maize belonging to Muderede.

Mr Saidi said when he went to Parliament, he found Muderede waiting for him and told him that Cde Msika wanted to see him immediately as he was due to leave for a Politburo meeting.

"I was questioned by the Vice President and he said that Muderede was a popular farmer (therefore) we were not supposed to take his things. (By then) we had already taken the maize," said Mr Saidi, who added that he was a councillor in Banket.

Mr Saidi said Muderede sat quietly by his side as Cde Msika spoke to him.

Under cross-examination from defence lawyer Mr Tawanda Chitapi of TH Chitapi and Associates, Mr Saidi said Cde Msika also warned Muderede that if he were actually involved in the illegal deals, he would be arrested.

When asked if Cde Msika’s actions jeopardised the GMB process, Mr Saidi said they did not in any way affect his activities since the maize was not returned to Muderede..."

Which is the real story here; that president warned the man or the VP warned the government official not to enforce the law of the land because said violater was "popular?" You be the judge.

For her part, Zimbabwe's newest VP and highetst ranking woman Joyce Mujuru, was exposed to have meddled with the teenage rape victim of Karikoga Kaseke, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Transport and Communications. Mujur allegedly attempted to stop the victim, who was impregnated by Kaseke when she was fifteen, from testifying in public during her civil case for child support against Kaseke. writes,
"According to documents seen by New, Mujuru has been trying to prevent 17-year-old rape victim Nyasha Sonia Ndanga from testifying against Karikoga Kaseke, a Mujuru ally and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Ndanga has brought a civil suit against Kaseke for the maintenance of a child she bore with him when she was 15 years old. In Zimbabwean law, the age of consent is 16, and had Ndanga reported the matter to the police instead of opting for a civil settlement, Kaseke would have been charged with statutory rape.

However sensational details emerged at the weekend of desperate attempts made by Mujuru, the CIO and newspaper publisher Ibbotson Day Mandaza to armtwist Ndanga into parting with pictures and documents supporting her claim."
Meanwhile The Independent reports that Mugabe chastised his ministers for "blame shifting" and underpeformance.

  • << Home