Zanu PF 'funder' in trouble over Mugabe slur

HARARE - Harare businessman and self-styled Zanu PF financier Hanif Allana could be in hot soup after taking a jibe at President Robert Mugabe, and his leadership qualities.

The Indian merchant, who owns Elite Car Hire and other businesses, has also been in the news for orchestrating the eviction of his 37-year-old ex-lover Audrey James from her Avondale house and is equally entangled in another legal scrap with a group of Harare families facing eviction from their downtown properties.

Although Allana has flatly refused to comment on the issues — threatening this newspaper “be careful what you write” — his legal troubles emanate from two reports made by Belvedere resident and community leader Abraham Samushonga.

The two had clashed over the former’s takeover and domination of ventilation gaps in several western suburbs, including Milton Park and Monavale, thus resulting in the two cases at the Harare Central Police Station.

In his complaints against the controversial businessman, Samushonga says Allana hurled insults at Mugabe and his party after he had sought to enquire about how some youths in his area could also access, and use some of the open spaces owned by council.

“Allana has a big problem and (this maybe coming from a view that) he is also well-connected. He is everywhere and after he had called me to his offices one day... he exploded and hurled insults at the President (Mugabe) and also locked me in his office,” he said.

“He said the President should have left power 15 years ago, he does not think and is out of sync with reality,” Samushonga said, adding the octogenarian leader was also in a quandary about who could succeed him now when he could have solved it decades ago.

With the first case of undermining Mugabe’s authority registered under CR 37/08/12 and the other one on threats of violence under CR 1035/08/12, the complainant has followed up his reports with a dispatch to several top Zanu PF and government officials, including Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, State Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Information and Publicity chief Webster Shamu and other key state functionaries.

Police provincial spokesperson James Sabau could neither deny not confirm the cases.

Apart from insulting Mugabe, Allana — whose son Musa is a special interest councillor in the capital and appointed by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo — also stands accused of being the hand behind the eviction of a group of Zanu PF supporters from their Kaguvi Street properties.

The case — at 76 Kaguvi Street and owned by Kopje Properties (Kopje) — has been raging at the Harare Magistrates’ Court for years, with six of the alleged victims arguing that a local estate agency Amazon Real Estate (Amazon) has no right to chuck them out.

“The plaintiff (Amazon) brought an action against the defendants for eviction and ejectment.

“The defendant(s) defended the action stating the applicant had no mandate to deal with the property on behalf of property owners,” the group said.

However, the High Court in August granted an interim relief and judgment in favour of Amazon.

Allana is alleged to be the mastermind behind the eviction plan after buying Kopje — a charge he vehemently denies.

So powerful and influential is the Harare businessman that Samushonga’s cases almost collapsed — like the proverbial deck of cards — even before they took off after the latter was threatened by some senior police officers (names supplied) for taking on the controversial figure.

“I was intimidated by some senior police officers, who said l must withdraw the charges. However, l would like to prove that not everyone who shouts Zanu PF is Zanu PF. Some of these people associate with the party… only for protection. He claims he is Zanu PF, but from my point of view he is not,” the complainant said.

In recent years, the Indian tycoon’s car hire business has also been subject to a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority probe or enquiry after he imported a fleet of 200 luxury cars allegedly for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Although it is yet unknown how the case ended, sources said some of those cars — including Mercedes Benzes and Toyota Prados — have been hired out to various government departments, including the RBZ and defence headquarters.

According to other independent sources, Allana has also been a key government and Zanu PF supplier since the 1980s.

Amid claims that he even brought or introduced the Steyr trucks and brand to the army, the swaggering businessman has also made donations to several Zanu PF officials and constituencies, and is on the cusp of a major technological project owing to his close party associates. — Weekend Post

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