I am suffering for my MDC links: Businessman

HARARE - A prominent Harare businessman whose employees are in court on allegations of bribing a top Zanu PF official says he is being persecuted for being an MDC supporter.

Mashwede Diesel Services managing director Alex Elias Mashamhanda told a Harare magistrate yesterday that his business was suffering because of his political links.

Two Mashwede Diesel Services employees are being accused of offering $15 000 to Zanu PF Harare youth leader Jim Kunaka, who is in charge of activists who were disrupting the construction of a service station in Mbare.

“Senior politicians have been enticing people to destroy my property due to the fact that I am an MDC supporter,” said Mashamhanda, who is behind the disrupted project.

“The issue is with senior politicians who wanted to settle their personal scores with me, which I believe are political,” he added.

Mashamhanda, who was appearing as a witness, told the court that Kunaka was being used by rival politicians to stop the construction.

“Kunaka is getting instructions from senior politicians to mobilise youths to demonstrate against the construction in Mbare. That is why he is not being arrested,” Mashamhanda said.

“People from law and order (police department) came to my offices saying they had not arrested youths who assaulted my workers at the construction site because they were instructed by senior politicians not to do so,” said Mashamhanda.

“Environmental Management Agency was also influenced by senior politicians not to give us the clearing certificate which we later obtained after a long struggle,” he added.

Isheunesu Maribha and Gwezuva Changamire, who are employed by Mashwede Diesel Services as general manager and sales representative respectively, were arrested after they allegedly attempted to bribe Kunaka.

Kunaka was leading an outfit called Mbare Residents Committee resisiting the construction.

The two allegedly wanted Kunaka to use his political muscle to influence the residents to support the construction of the service station. - Ivan Zhakata

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