Ex-ZBC boss review application deferred

Source: Ex-ZBC boss review application deferred | The Herald February 17, 2017

Chief Court Reporter
The High Court has postponed hearing the review application by former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere querying the refusal by a Harare magistrate to refer his case to the Constitutional Court.

Justice Lavender Makoni postponed the hearing to allow the magistrate, Mr Noel Mupeiwa, and the prosecution to file their heads of argument.

Mupeiwa and the National Prosecution Authority are cited as the respondents in the case.

Through his lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Muchechetere applied for review of proceedings in which Mr Mupeiwa dismissed their second Constitutional Court application.

Muchechetere withdrew his first constitutional application challenging the criminal proceedings, but later notified the court that he intended to file another application.

Mr Mupeiwa dismissed the second application.

Muchechetere (64) is facing charges of contravening the procurement law and his trial was stalled since June 2014.

It is alleged that on January 18, 2013 Muchechetere – without going to tender – entered into a procurement deal with a Chinese company to purchase an audio OB van for $1 050 000.

On April 23, 2013 Muchechetere allegedly misrepresented to ZBC’s executive committee that $495 000 donated by BancABC was enough to purchase an audio van, a cargo van and a crew bus; and, the committee approved the purchase of the items using the said money.

The State alleged that Muchechetere did not disclose to the committee that he had already entered into a deal for only one item, the OB van.

The court heard that Muchechetere flew to China and signed an agreement clearing the way for an inspection of the van, which was never carried out by other members of the executive committee.

The OB van was delivered in August 2013 after BancABC released $100 000 to the Chinese company.

The alleged crime was discovered after Muchechetere’s suspension in November 2015 when it was established that the OB van had a market value of $350 000, contrary to the $1 050 000 he had stated.