ZPC boss nails Undenge

Source: ZPC boss nails Undenge – DailyNews Live

Tarisai Machakaire      7 June 2018

HARARE – Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) managing director Noah Gwariro
yesterday testified that former Energy minister Samuel Undenge was
responsible for authorising a public relations contract that prejudiced
the power utility of $12 000.

Undenge is answering to criminal abuse of office charges before Harare
regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya.

The charges relate to a contract that was awarded to Psychology Maziwisa
and Oscar Pambuka’s company, Fruitful Communications, for publicity work
quoted at $12 650 in January 2016. The two never fulfilled the obligation,
the State alleges.

Maziwisa and Pambuka are facing fraud charges in a separate court.

According to Gwariro, the minister could direct specific engagements
between ZPC and other companies without going to tender which he said was
the case with Fruitful Communications.

“I remember Maziwisa and Pambuka came to me with a letter from Undenge
which was directing us to engage their services. I copied the public
relations executive Fadzai Chisveto and group chief executive officer to
be aware,” Gwariro said.

“My response was to assign Chisveto to find out from ministry how it was
supposed to be handled before implementing. Fruitful Communications was
then engaged and basically submitted an invoice for programmes that had
been aired on various radios of $12 650.

“They later returned with another invoice demanding $36 000 which raised
suspicion and prompted an enquiry. That money was never paid.”

Undenge’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama claimed Gwariro’s evidence was tainted
because he wanted to cover his back since he is also under investigation
over the matter.

“Is it not true that you are actually being investigated by Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission for corruptly awarding the same tender and that
you are actually a suspect in the matter of Maziwisa and Pambuka?”
Muchadehama asked.

“The then vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa had a hand in this but you say
there was no mention of him by Maziwisa and Pambuka when they sought the

According to the State, sometime in January 2016, Maziwisa and Pambuka
brought a letter to ZPC from Undenge directing the company to work with
Fruitful Communications at intervals of six months per engagement.

During that month, Maziwisa and Pambuka entered a verbal agreement with
ZPC which was represented by Gwariro and Chisveto to do publicity work.

It was further alleged that on March 8 Maziwisa and Pambuka, intending to
defraud ZPC, presented to Chisveto an invoice claiming they had hosted
various programmes on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, National FM and
Power FM.