Embattled former Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Temba Mliswa has been arrested for illegally possessing seven AK47 assault rifles, with the police still to establish the intention for which he held the guns.
Cde Mliswa was picked up by detectives from the CID Law and Order Section at his Spring Farm in Karoi where the guns were discovered.
He is being held at the Chinhoyi Law and Order Section and is expected to appear in court today charged with unlawful possession of firearms.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday confirmed Mliswa’s arrest which happened on Saturday.
“He was arrested on Saturday for unlawful possession of firearms and is likely to appear in court tomorrow (today),” she said. “Details will be furnished as and when they become available.”
According to sources, Cde Mliswa was allegedly found in possession of the seven unlicensed AK47 rifles which were stashed at his farm.
When The Herald visited Chinhoyi Police Station yesterday, his relatives were seen milling around the place.
One of the relatives said they were not aware of the charge Cde Mliswa was facing.
“We are here to find out what has happened to him,” said one of the relatives who preferred anonymity. “We just heard that he was picked up by the police, but details of why he has been arrested are still sketchy.”
This is not the first time that Cde Mliswa has had a brush with the law, although he was acquitted on several occasions.
In 2010, his lawyers sensationally revealed that he was facing up to 78 charges in Zimbabwe’s court system.
This was after he was arrested in the same year on allegations of extorting $1 600 from relatives of his two employees and the theft of 56 cattle in Karoi.
“He extorted the money from a white couple he had employed at his farm in Karoi,” said the then chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena.
In the same year 2010, Mliswa along with Martin Mutasa and George Marere spent weeks in prison after being arrested on charges of fraud involving $1,05 million.
The three were alleged to have defrauded a Harare man, Paul Westwood of his 50 percent shares in Noshio Motors, a registered car dealer company jointly owned by Westwood and Hammarskjöld Banda and his wife Brendaly.
Mliswa was detained at Matapi police station in Mbare.
After release on bail, Mliswa was re-arrested and charged for crimes dating back to 2002, which included cases of assault and common assault, theft, public violence, contempt of court, extortion, malicious damage to property, Shop Licences Act violation, Firearms Act violation and housebreaking.
Mliswa and his co-accused were acquitted of the Noshio case in June 2011.
Some of the other cases were also dropped in various other circumstances including state witnesses denying ever reporting Mliswa to the police.
In 2013, Cde Mliswa was arrested following skirmishes where Hurungwe East legislator Cde Sarah Mahoka was injured in an attack by youths while trying to address a meeting at Zimonja Business Centre in Zvipani.
Mliswa was ousted as the Zanu-PF provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West after it became clear that he supported ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru’s bid to illegally oust President Mugabe
Revelations towards the 6th Zanu-PF National People’s Congress in December last year indicated that the Mujuru cabal was planning to assassinate President Mugabe if their bid to install her as the new president of both the party and the country failed with some members of the putschist cabal saying President Mugabe would be shot.