Mliswa seeks bail, rubbishes gun theft charges

AXED Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa has been charged with gun theft and will learn Tuesday whether the courts will grant his bid for bail.

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His lawyers have however rubbished the charges saying the State was crying more than the bereaved since the supposed victim of the theft had not complained.

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The Hurungwe West legislator was arrested on Saturday and appeared before Chinhoyi magistrate Ignatius Mugova on Monday.

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Prosecutor Herald Matura charged Mliswa with theft over some eight rifles said to have been found stashed in a trench at his Spring Farm fowl run.

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The firearms included a 303 rifle, Patrone .22 rifle, Kal .22 I.F.B rifle, BSA 7.57mm rifle, K217.62mm rifle, .458 Witworth Express rifle, Vanguard 12 Bore shotgun and a 12 Bore double barrel shotgun.

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Matura said Mliswa stole the firearms from Summerhill Farm in Mhangura in 2007. The State claims the guns belong to then farm owner Myles Walter Hall.

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The prosecutor opposed bail saying Mliswa could interfere with witnesses since one of them was his worker at the farm.

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Police also needed to recover five other firearms at Mliswa’s farm, while time was needed to send the recovered firearms to the Ballistics Unit for testing to establish whether they had not been used to commit a crime.

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However, Mliswa’s lawyers Musindo Hungwe and Charles Chinyama, dismissed the State’s claims against their client.

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“The case is manifestly weak as the arms in question were recovered,” said Hungwe.

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“So, which other firearms is the State talking about when it is clear that the other firearms are registered in the accused’s name?”

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The attorney said there was nothing in the State’s papers to show how the crime was committed, while also dismissing the case for not having a complainant.

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“The State is crying more than the bereaved because there is nowhere we see Mr Myles Hall reporting to the police,” he said.

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With property worth a net value of US,5 million, among other valuables, and being a legislator, Mliswa was not a flight risk and should be released on bail under conditions set by the court, the lawyer added.

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