By -FRED RICHARDSON
VICE President, Phelekezela Mphoko has been caught up in a $35 000
bribery for protection scam involving a Pakistani family which
“invested” in the food and basic commodities industry in Bulawayo.
The Pakistanis, led by Imran Shahzad, stands accused of procuring,
re-packaging and rebranding expired foodstuffs at ridiculous prices
from South Africa for re-sale in the country.
Imran and family run Bulk Cash and Carry wholesalers in Bulawayo- an
entity many residents here now believe sells cheaper foodstuffs and basic
Some of the foodstuffs are said to be sprayed with dangerous chemicals
that have been banned in the Southern African region so as to remove
pests that develop in the products because of expiry.
One such chemical is Aluminium Phosphate used in fumigation.
The chemical is said to have a lot of side effects on humans.
The Pakistani is also said to be involved in foreign currency
externalization, with millions of dollars said to have been smuggled
out of the country via Botswana. The money is said to have been
deposited in banks in Botswana and wired to Pakistan, according to the
affidavit at hand.
Imran and his cartel are also said to be involved in drug dealing,
evasion of tax and import duty, as well as human trafficking,
according to an affidavit in our possession.
In an affidavit filed with the police at the Bulawayo Police
headquarters at Southampton House, Oga Chafausipo, a former operations manager at Bulk Cash
and Carry wholesalers, said Mphoko was given the said $35 000 through one of his
lieutenants in Bulawayo, war veteran George Mlala.
A few weeks ago, war veterans’ minister, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube,
in the heat of a war of words with Mlala, disclosed that Mlala was
involved in milking the Pakistani of cash using the guise of “engaging
higher authorities” to protect them.
Reads the affidavit in part: “The company (Bulk Cash and Carry) has
been ably assisted to continue with its illicit activities after
successfully recruiting some of our government officials into their
“Recently, one of the politicians namely George Mlala, Council of
Elders of the Zimbabwe (National) Liberation War Veterans Association
is also blindly assisting the company to perpetuate its illegal
“I have it on good authority that Mlala was paid $35 000 for onward
transmission to the Honourable Vice President (Phelekezela) Mphoko for
the sole purpose of non-interference or protection of the company.”
Chafausipo, a former army officer, said he had tried to seek an audience
with Mphoko over the bounty. Mphoko, he said, had “obviously” denied
receiving the money from Mlala.
“I have since approached the vice president over the issue and he
denied receiving the money from Mlala,” he added in his affidavit.
What is surprising with the allegations of Imran and company’s illicit
and dangerous activities is that nothing has been done to investigate
them- with analysts intimating this was evidence enough the Shahzads
were being protected by powers beyond the law enforcement agent’s
Meanwhile, Bulk Cash and Carry is involved in a fierce battle with a
Bulawayo confectionery company which accuses the food services company
of supplying it with expired flour for its operations.
The company, Dial Direct, trading as Double Fresh Bakery argues it
lost business and is demanding compensation from Bulk Cash and Carry
for $27 000.
Initially, the company management wanted $200 000 as compensation but
an agreement was reached to the effect that Bulk Cash and Carry would
Compensate double Fresh with $27 000.
Summons in case 2977/16 filed at the Bulawayo High Court reads:
“Sometime around May 2016, Plaintiff (Dial Direct Enterprises trading
as double Fresh Bakery,) ordered flour from the defendant for the
furtherance of its business. Defendant supplied Plaintiff with flour
that was below standard and had a solid boulder in it that occurred as
a result of moisture in the flour,” reads part of the summons.
The summons add the Pakistani failed to explain the circumstances
around the existence of the boulder in the flour, save to advise the
Plaintiff to sieve the flour to remove the boulder.
“Plaintiff duly notified the Defendant about the condition of the
flour to which the Defendant responded by sending a sieve with the
recommendation that the Plaintiff sifts the flour to remove the
boulders that were in the flour.
Further to that, Defendant made undertakings to shoulder the
Plaintiff’s losses that would occur as a result of the condition of
the flour,” reads the summons in part.
The Plaintiff, it is said, complained to the Defendant it was making
losses as a result of the poor quality of its bread arising from the
bad state of the flour the defendant supplied.
An agreement to compensate was entered into but Bulk Cash and Carry
has since then failed to come good on its undertakings.