Mliswa an extortionist: Rautenbach


Billy Rautenbach

Takunda Maodza  and Mabasa Sasa
BUSINESSMAN Mr Conrad “Billy” Rautenbach yesterday branded Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Temba Mliswa an “extortionist” who victimised him, culminating in the collapse of their relationship.Cde Mliswa — who is also Hurungwe West legislator — is scheduled to clarify his position on the nature of his dealings with Mr Rautenbach at a Press conference in Harare today.

He accuses Mr Rautenbach of using national resources to enrich himself at the State’s expense. Mr Rautenbach, however, says Cde Mliswa tried to fleece him.

“He approached us in the capacity of an investment consultant, but when we realised that he was not sincere in his approach to business and had extortionist tendencies, we immediately cut ties with him and directed all communication through our lawyers. His submissions pertaining to our various projects are baseless falsehoods,” Mr Rautenbach said.

Cde Mliswa has said it was Mr Rautenbach who approached him for assistance to secure the Hwange, Unki and Chisumbanje deals, culminating in his incessant letters of demand. The dealings sucked in Cde Didymus Mutasa, Deputy Lands Minister and Politburo member Cde Tendai Savanhu and Cde Basil Nyabadza.

Deputy Minister Savanhu —  who chaired the Hwange Colliery Board at the time he reportedly mediated between Cde Mliswa and Mr Rautenbach — was mum on the matter yesterday when The Herald sought his comment having attempted and failed to get it on Sunday.

“I am not better-placed to comment at the moment. I will respond to The Herald at an appropriate time giving the correct thing,” he said.

Minister Mutasa, on Sunday, said he was aware of a disagreement over the ethanol project but was not involved in any way; while Cde Nyabadza said Cde Mliswa had a penchant for starting “bush fires and I do not know which bush fire he has started now”.

Cde Mutasa is Minister of State in the Office of the President.

Cde Mliswa’s multi-million dollar business ties with Mr Rautenbach through the Chisumbanje ethanol plant, Unki Platinum Mine and Hwange Colliery have strained after the Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman demanded at least US$165 million for helping the businessman secure those investments.

Cde Mliswa wanted Mr Rautenbach to pay him US$100 million as his 10 percent shareholding in an Unki Mine concession, which he says Mr Rautenbach improperly sold for US$1 billion to British investors.

Cde Mliswa said he had strong reason to believe that only a portion of that US$1 billion came into Zimbabwe, and was used to start-up operations at Chisumbanje.

Another US$65 million demanded by Cde Mliswa was for a stake in Green Fuel, which is producing ethanol in Chisumbanje.
Cde Mliswa was for a while paid US$10 for every tonne of coal mined at Hwange and US$5 per tonne of coke. A tonne of coal costs no less than US$100.

The coal and coke payments were subsequently stopped precipitating the letters of demands.

Mr Rautenbach’s contract with Hwange was cancelled because, according to Cde Mliswa, he exported the coke instead of supplying it to the thermal power station.

Cde Mliswa also alleges that Green Fuel recently failed to supply ethanol to the local market because Mr Rautenbach had exported four million litres of the product to settle unrelated obligations outside Zimbabwe.

In an interview with The Herald on Sunday, he accused Mr Rautenbach of being “a criminal” who crookedly uses the country’s natural resources for personal benefit.

“I took him to every high-ranking official he knows today in Government. I was part and parcel of it. He said my shares cannot be made public because I am a Zanu-PF politician and he will not get funding. He used to pay me. He has stopped and I took the legal route.

“He then confronted high-ranking officials in Government for me to withdraw my papers. I took him to Chisumbanje on a helicopter. What did he think I was doing in that helicopter risking my life? It was not a free ride,” Cde Mliswa said.

He said he linked Mr Rautenbach to his uncle Cde Mutasa and Mines and Mining Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu.
Letters between Cde Mliswa’s lawyers and Mr Rautenbach’s legal representatives directly name Minister Mutasa, Deputy Minister Savanhu and Cde Nyabadza.

A letter dated April 14, 2010 to Mr Rautenbach’s lawyers says, “… we advise that whereas your client has acknowledged his liability to our client (Cde Mliswa) through a mediator, Mr Tendai Savanhu, no precise figures (of what is owed) has been forthcoming.”

Another missive, on June 4, 2010, states: “We advise that during the ensuing period your client (Mr Rautenbach) held a discussion with Mr Basil Nyabadza as well as the Honorable Minister Mutasa regarding our client’s claims. There then followed a meeting on or about 13 May where the aforementioned persons, excluding your client, were present as was our client and the writer (lawyer).

“Your client, despite being invited to the meeting, declined to attend. We are aware that communication has been made to your client by Mr Nyabadza in an attempt to mediate this dispute to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. It appears, to our client, at least, that your client is in no hurry to resolve the dispute.”


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  • mpengo

    He does have a tendency of embarrassing the leaders.

    If every party had a spoilt brat, Themba Mliswa would have the ZANUPF honours.

    He is excessive and overtly aggressive in his dealings. Always needing some form of rescue.

  • $ $ign.

    So Temba charges an unimaginable 8 figure $um for being a pa$$enger in someone else’s helicopter. Elsewhere in the world passengers pay for a ride. And foolish me labour daily for my wages while Cde / Mr ( whatever else) Mliswa just boards a helicopter and becomes a millionaire?

    • ngwenarume

      Kambavha kaye. he doesnt deserve to addressed as Cde. at all. maybe he has some other services which are not being disclosed. But i bet u count your fingers soon after shaking with him. whose helicopter was it? lets just follow the proceedings more will be unfoldwed soon.

  • Qiniso

    “Cde Mliswa was for a while paid US$10 for every tonne of coal mined at Hwange and US$5 per tonne of coke. A tonne of coal costs no less than US$100.”Really? No wonder Hwange is broke

    • Hemp

      Right. A whole ton for U.S.$100. Wow. U.S.$10 for a 100 kilo.

  • Collin

    Hahaha look who’s talking. This Rautenbach is stealing from Zimbabweans by his so-called blending. The fuel is now very very expensive considering you pour in more fuel which unfortunately will not get you to your destination, yet you pay more for that fuel because you have to constantly stop at the filling station to fill up.

    • wezhira wezheve

      cant agree with you more. Normally I used to use $40 to and from work, and some errands over the weekend, now I need $60 Mon to Frid without any errands, this is way too expensive

    • Rufaro

      what is going with this blended fuel??? do we not have a standards control association because i feel there is something not right

  • Mbada Murenje

    Which bush fire is this one now? At one moment he messed around with the local football fraternity so I heard as he was trying to be a physical mentor there but footballers themselves were seen to be at protest against his aggression. Even the tobacco farmers were pointing fingers at him some time as he wanted to box them old farmers…ki-ki-ki-ki-kkkk Iro zita rinonzi comrade irika.. mutinyarewo kana maripfekedzwa. Musaita rekutambisa nekuti rine ropa, dzimwe nguva tichazodawo kuziva zvakawanda munhorowondo dzeupenyu hwevamwe vanhu vanongonzi comrade…comrade vachisvibisa nyika.

  • bulldog

    There goes my former rugby coach at Churchill Boys High. Go Bulldog go! :) This guys is at least good for giggles. He says on one hand that the Billys’ deal(s) are crooked and are tantamount to stealing from the nation. On the other hand he still wants “his cut”, I00 million no less! Pure comedy…..

  • Troy

    This issue has not exposed Temba, but rather Rautenbach and people like the ex-Minister of Mines who could have benefited massively, besides Chiadzwa, from the Unki deal. Lobbying, though not ethical, is done all over the world and for any business anywhere in the world to make huge investments, needs political backing. Ask Econet…the late VP played a key role for them to be granted a licence.

    • steve

      Well thought out indeed. I agree Troy. This is just a way of trying to stop Temba from being the only voice in ZANU PF that tries to bring back accountability. In fact the article does not deserve to be a front page item. It is supposed to be a special feature, given the amount of time it took to do research, unearthing details dating back to 2010! Go Temba Go!

  • MNK

    There is no big story here at all. Its a civil matter between two disaggreeing parties. Please Herald, refocus your attention and give us better stories unless you are on a personal vandetta.

  • Progressive Zimbabwean

    Notwithstanding Mliswa may have short comings but for us as Zimbabweans to listen and give space to Billy Rautenbach in our national paper and expect him to give credible narrative of what transpired is the height of naivety. We need to be careful what we get into. We have read about him in the South African press and if you google his name today you will understand more about the man. What we should be investigating is how he is getting preferential treatment to supply the whole nation with ethanol. How did it happen? At one time the President querried how it was possible that we could legislate in favour of a monopoly. Market forces were supposed to be allowed to play out and determine whether this product was what the market would demand. The savings being claimed are paltry compared to the damages this low actane fuel is doing to our cars and the increased costs due to reduced mileage that every vehicle owning Zimbabwean has to endure. Why are authorities quiet about this daylight robbery?

    • rukudzo

      I think this need some kind of examination so that we the people are aware of how some of our trusted cdes are falling by the way side. Ku rari tenge tiri tese tichiti pasi neva pambevhu but then tichingobvapo vamwe voti buyisa lo kamina. Kwete varume, ngatidyei zveziya redu.

  • Roy Moyo

    To some of us, corruption in ZANU PF is no longer news

  • tapera

    zanu pf take this zambian guy mliswa for lessons in politics, there is more confusion than order in to close the mouth a bit.tell his far a junior to try billy the crook

  • papa

    when i grow up i want to be a middle man.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa zvine mari ndazozviona

  • tapera

    stop forcing everybody to blend fuel for agriculture imputs that billy has bought from our money.blending should not be mandatory but cheaper and opotional

  • mutirori

    another deal gone wrong .though Mliswa has his own weakness but on this one he is right this Rautenbach guy needs to be investigated ,he is plundering our resourses

  • Mhizha

    Mliswa deserves his facilitaion fees, Period.

  • Muzukuru

    Matiro ndomamwechete.

  • jack

    BOTH of them are tsotsi’s is all i can say.. since they all had ulterior motives

  • Wafaz

    You have heard it from the horse`s mouth Mr Mliswa was “investment consultant” ,so this guy should just pay him what belongs to him. Why start a transaction,with payments the renegade amidst the transaction. At what time did he decide that Temba was an extortionist.

  • Chiruzevha Chapera


  • Don Wezhira

    Temba’s penchant for name dropping is legendary, in fact its a wonder that he would rise in ZANU PF, the strict revolutionary party we used to know, or maybe times have changed and some of us remain mired in the past while new actors have taken control, Mliswa, Savanhu and a plethora of these opportunistic smart Alecs are not Chimurenga names, vakabvepi?. Vanhu ava ngavasungwe.

  • VaMayaya

    This guy seems to be forgetiing he got incarcerated for a while for being so big mouthed, in shoddy deals he himself had dirty hands. How oin earth does he want to play saint in a totally and morally callouse and sour display of hurt sovereignty. Believe you me, this boy tries harder each time things do not come his way. This may be a way to silence him on the “loud call” on exposes of corruption but nonetheless for an ordinary Zimbo this is still as tasteless an original deal as is the swindling he alleges. The harder they try, the harder they fall!! He may claim a legal right to payments but this is morally void abnitio. It’s rather obscene. To him therefore even if Billy had exported the litres and the coke but stayed faithful to his word and letter of the deal it was OK for us!! Cry my fellow sons and daughters of the soil. And he has the audacity to brag about his ability to link someone to seniors in government/ZANU PF and demands outrageous payments!! May be this is just a tip of the iceberg!!

    • nyoka

      True @VaMayaya, nyika yapera nekutengeswa for personal gains. Haasi ega mufana uyu, vakawanda varikutengesa upfumi hwenyika. Zvichabuda hazvo pachena rerimwe gore, just hope kuti there will still be some resource left for the majority of the people to benefit from

  • Nhamson

    taneta nazvo izvi. jus tok and no action. imbavha mbiri dzakatadza kuwirirana on how to share the loot. this is how low our nation has sunk! rubbish ptu!

  • nyoka

    Mutengesi arikutengesa nyika yedu kuvachena ava ndiyani manje?

    • John Chimindo

      Ndi Tsvangirai… Lol….

  • Hemp

    Temba Mliswa. Our modern day Lobengula. That U.S.$165 milly is a drop in the bucket. Sellout!

  • HCC

    Honestly what is Coke used for at a Thermal Power Station, journalist please do your resesarch well.

  • JD

    Zimra where are you?While the little people are squeezed dry this guy has publicly admitted recieving income from coal etc.Has he declared this income and paid tax like the little people?

  • nedza

    I think mliswa will appreciate later tht what he is dragging himself thru is no easy task,,time shall tell..i thnk the people of Zimbabwe now understands tht not all sheep are real sheep..mliswa a hero on anti graft,next day ,,mliswa on 165m graft..who is mliswa? mr president sir?????

  • STAR

    So if you are paid no problem and if paid he is looting the resources of this country come on temba you thing we all better keep quiet and solve your shady deals quietly because even you,you are the same with him,no difference at all.

  • Cde Nharo

    Pablo Escobar you have my SUPPORT. Dai pasina nyaya dai akaramba achipuhwa mari. Mliswa kubatsira bhunu kuba ma’resources’ edu. Vose kuChikurubu.

  • Tshaka

    So Mliswa wanted to share Zimbabwe’s natural Resourses with Mr Rautenbach,not with the Nation or he represent the Nation.