BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Businessman Wicknell Chivayo, who is accused of bribing former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) chairperson Stanley Kazhanje, yesterday challenged the State to prove that he was favoured to win the multi-million dollar Gwanda solar project.
Chivayo, represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri, appeared before magistrate Trynos Utawashe.
“What specific decision … (was) made by the ZPC board in favour of the accused? When is it alleged that such decision was made? How is it alleged such decisions were made? And minutes and resolutions of all relevant ZPC board meetings are requested,” Uriri said.
“The State is refusing to furnish us with further particulars. The State must say this is a board resolution that Kazhanje made as the chairman to favour the accused person. Section 71(b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that the accused must be informed of the offence he is being charged on before answering to those charges.”
Uriri added that a confirmation is required that the tender was awarded by the then State Procurement Board and that the tender process was adjudicated upon by the then State Procurement Board.
Chivayo’s lawyer further told the court that the State is alleging that ZPC cancelled or intended to cancel the contract and if so, he requested copies of all relevant minutes, resolutions and correspondences.
Kazhanje’s lawyer Advocate Silvester Hashiti also requested the same documents, saying they need them early so as to prepare for the trial.
But for the State, Brian Vito responded that the furnishing of further particulars was not their obligations and the accused must source the documents of their choice to defend themselves in the trial.
Magistrate Utawashe postponed the matter to July 18 for the ruling.