Senior Court Reporter
THE ruling over the application of former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chairperson Stanley Kazhanje to quash his bribery charges has been deferred to Friday after the magistrate handling the matter was not available yesterday.
Kazhanje, facing charges involving US$10 000, argues that he has already been convicted of another crime, concealing from his superiors the payment of what he claims was a payment for professional services before he took his ZPC post, but with that conviction using the same facts and so he cannot be tried again.
Chief Magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi was expected to make the ruling yesterday but he was not available for reasons not mentioned in court.
Kazhanje is being jointly charged with businessman Wicknell Chivayo and his company Intratrek Zimbabwe, who are alleged to have extended the US$10 000 bribe in return for favourable treatment when it came to awarding a tender. Both men and the company denied the charges when the trial opened last week.
But Kazhanje, through Advocate Tawanda Nyamakura, went further saying he was once convicted on the same facts and applied that the charges be dismissed.
Adv Nyamakura said Kazhanje was convicted on charges of concealing a transaction from a principal, which is a competent alternative verdict when bribery allegations are made and it would be double jeopardy if tried on same allegations.
“The charges arise from a single transaction … The evidence that proves the one is the same that proves the other. There is nothing new that the State subsequently discovered that could warrant a new charge,” said Adv Nyamakura.
Kazhanje said trying him on the current charge was a violation of his right not to be tried twice on same facts.
He denied the allegations saying he did consultation work for Intratrek Zimbabwe in 2014 before his appointment as ZPC board chairperson in a tender project for Terminal Engineers, which he said was not successful.
Kazhanje said he was entitled to payment for the services rendered to Chivayo’s company and the money was deposited into his personal account.
He denied that he tried to influence ZPC to make a favourable decision to Chivayo and his company.
Chivayo and his company, represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri, denied ever transferring the US$10 000 to Kazhanje as a bribe. They followed the same arguement presented by Kazhanje that the money was payment for consultancy services rendered to his firm before Kazhanje joined the ZPC board.
“The said Stanley Kazhanje did not do anything to show favour to Intratrek Zimbabwe nor was he induced in any manner whatsoever whether as alleged or at all,” they said.
Regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje presided while Mrs Netsai Mushayabasa appeared for the State.