Firebrand independent legislator for Norton, Temba Mliswa, has come out guns blazing against Innscor Africa and accused the institution of holding a tight grip on cartels that are accused of capturing state institutions.
In a no holds barred press conference held at the Media Centre in Harare today, Mliswa said the cartels are fuelling corruption – a scourge that has a strong chokehold on Zimbabwe.
“The effects of corruption are deep and far reaching. It reduces foreign direct and domestic investments, it increases inequality and poverty, distorts and exploits public investments and reduces public revenues. Furthermore it erodes the trust we have in the public sector to act in our best interests and exposes people to have to put up with poor quality services or infrastructure. Unfortunately corruption may be experienced the world over, its the level that makes or breaks an economy and sadly it would appear that we are currently experiencing corruption of unprecedented levels to the extent of State capture where many individuals and institutions are ensnared.
“Whilst I have always been a crusader against corruption, and have in the past exposed numerous instances, the latest case is by far the biggest. It all started when disgruntled employees from Breckridge Investments approached me citing racial discrimination and unfair labour practices. The encounter basically opened a can of worms into the intricate dealings of a conglomerate operating in Zimbabwe since the late 1980s,” Mliswa said.
The maverick politician accused the cartels of externalisation. Mliswa said the companies make applications to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and are funded at concessionary rates.
“It is alleged that the Directors of the companies establish offshore vehicles. Dubious transactions are subsequently created and the local companies are then purported to be debtors of the offshore vehicles. The alleged externalisation is said to be facilitated through companies such as AGA Africa and Sub Saharan Group International. They are all believed to be linked to the same shareholders as Innscor.
“Money received from RBZ is then allegedly channeled to these offshore accounts to fund said debts. In order to track these illicit money flows it is therefore important to understand from an externalisation point of view how much the companies have received and how it has been accounted for? The companies are authorised to trade in foreign currency locally of which they do in various sectors of the economy including tourism and the fast food industry. If they are generating foreign currency why do they continue to apply for foreign currency from the RBZ at concessionary rates? Where does this money go, how is it circulated in Zimbabwe? As the monetary authority, it is imperative that RBZ follows up on these transactions through the banks to avoid compromise and capture,” Mliswa averred.
The self-proclaimed anti-corruption proponent said these companies operate in diverse sectors of the economy.
“However, it is their food chain monopoly that raises eyebrows. Innscor Africa Limited owns National Foods, Probrands, Profeeds, Baker’s Inn, Triple C, Colcom, Irvine’s etc. They are alleged to have received over 50% of the maize for milling, why do they receive preferential treatment? The danger of having one company control the majority of the basic commodity lines is that the country may be held to ransom through pricing or artificial shortages. With such a potential risk to national security, how then do we have companies like Innscor Africa Limited controlling the entire food chain? How did the Zimbabwe Competition and Tariffs Commission allow such unfair business practice to prevail?”
The politician produced official documentary evidence on Innscor Africa Ltd and their capture of State Institutions and how they have senior Public Officials on their leash.
“The evidence clearly proves their position in externalisation; RBZ capture; NPA capture; ZIMRA capture and ZRP capture. Prosecutor-General Hodzi was not misleading when he made his declaration on state capture. The youths (Tsenengamju and Matutu) did well to bring it up and I have the evidence. I am happy to say that I have raised the above issues with the relevant authorities and investigations are underway. We look forward with avid interest the findings of these investigations.”
Mliswa took a dig on to corruption in land cases. He cited Marimba Residential Properties claimed by Billy Rautenbach to be the legal owners of the land in Kambuzuma where some residents of the Joshua Nkomo Housing Cooperative had their homes destroyed with the blessings of the police.
“Marimba Residential Properties is not a registered company according to the Ministry of Justice. Billy Rautenbach has no offer letter to this land. But becuse he is white, the government allows him to do that…Billy Ruatenbach has captured the state and some government officials yet ZACC says we must report cases of corruption.
“I have come to complement Lewis Matututu and Godfrey Tsenengamu’s noise. They did not have the evidence but now I have it. We must start a revolution to reclaim what is ours from the white monopoly,” Mliswa added.