Muchechetere trial date set

HARARE regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa has set Friday as the trial date for former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, who is charged with swindling his employer of $800 000 by inflating the purchase price of an OB van.

Source: Muchechetere trial date set – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016

By Mary Taruvinga

The court set the trial date last Friday after quashing Muchechetere’s second attempt to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court.

“The court is making this ruling without reference to the State’s response for the reason that accused made a ConCourt application then withdrew the same application.

“There is no provision that once such an application is made and withdrawn as in this case the accused can make a second application,” Mupeiwa said, as he quashed a second bid by Muchechetere’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu to refer the matter to the ConCourt.

The State led by Michael 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 the ZBC’s executive committee that $495 000 donated by BancABC was enough to purchase an audio van, a cargo van, a crew bus and the committee approved the purchase of the items using the said money. Muchechetere, however, 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 following Muchechetere’s suspension in November last year when it was established that the OB van was only worth $350 000, contrary to the $1 050 000 he had stated.