Fungai Lupande : Court Reporter
Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere has approached the High Court with a query over the quashing of his second attempt to approach the Constitutional Court by a Harare magistrate. Muchechetere’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu applied for review of proceedings in which magistrate Mr Noel Mupeiwa dismissed their second Concourt application.The prosecutor Mr Michael Reza, told the court that Muchechetere submitted his application at the High Court but did not serve the National Prosecuting Authority as is per the norm.
“However, the NPA is now served and they are now making efforts to place the application on the opposed role,” he said.
Lawyer Mr Gongai Sithole, consented to have the matter adjourned to September 29.
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Mr Mupeiwa dismissed the second application saying there is no provision that once such an application is made and withdrawn as in this case the accused can make a second application.
Muchechetere (64) is facing charges of contravening the procurement law and his trial was stalled since June 2014.
Mr Reza 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 a deal for only one item, the OB van. The court heard that Muchechetere flew to China and signed an agreement concerning 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 last year when it was established that the OB van had a market value of $350 000, contrary to the $1 050 000 he had stated.