Bribe accused ex-ZPC chairperson denies charges, former deputy minister testifies

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By Mary Taruvinga

BRIBE accused former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chairperson, Stanely Kazhanje, has argued he had no powers to influence the awarding of a controversial tender to businessman, Wicknell Chivayo’s company Intratrek .

Kazhanje said this when his trial commenced before Harare Regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya on Wednesday.

He stands accused of receiving RTGS$10 000 bribe from Chivayo to push for his Gwanda Solar project contract with ZPC.

Through his lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, Kazhanje said if any underhand deal was done, the entire board was responsible.

“He never influenced any decision to sign any contract. He has always worked with a board of qualified.

“Capable members of various educational and professional backgrounds who collectively made decisions. They had capacity to object if any impropriety was occasioned,” said the lawyer.

“His term of office was successfully completed, and he remains on the audit committee of ZPC notwithstanding. He is also the one who raised queries and investigated and challenged the procedure and procurement process under the managing director.”

The lawyer added: “He will lead that he was never an employee of ZPC or ZESA Holdings Pvt Ltd. He will state that he was board chairman and had no powers or capacity to enter into any transactions on behalf of the company.”

Kazhanje also argued that he was never involved in the award of any tender as this is the preserve of the State Procurement Board (SPB).

“In any event the Gwanda Solar tender was awarded prior to his engagement as board chairman and he found the tender already in place,” said Hashiti.

The State alleges that Kazhanje presided over meetings involving Intratrek Zimbabwe, where he was on a payroll as a consultant but did not excuse himself as allowed by the law.

Former Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo also gave his testimony which he aid Kazhanje did not tell him he was consulting for Intrateck.

“Consultations and deliberations of Gwanda Solar project was done by ZPC.

“The accused never told me of his interests in Intratrek Zimbabwe. I knew he was a consultant, but I don’t know his clients. If he ever told me that he was involved with Intratek, my memory is failing on that,” said Mutezo.

According to the State, on October 23, 2015 ZPC signed an Engineering Procurement and Construction of a 100 Megawatt Solar Project with Intratrek.

However, the State alleged that Intratrek did not fulfill its obligation, resulting in the management suggesting termination of the contract.

On January 21, 2016 and under unclear circumstances, Kazhanje allegedly received $10 000 into his personal Barclay’s Bank account from Intratrek’s CBZ bank account.

It is the state’s case that in his capacity as ZPC’s board chairperson, Kazhanje presided over a meeting where it was resolved that ZPC must pay services direct to Intratrek subcontractors instead of terminating the contract.