D-Day for Maziwisa and Pambuka; court to rule on fraud case

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By Court Reporter

FORMER ZBC presenter Oscar Pambuka and ex-Zanu PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa will this Thursday know their fate when a Harare magistrate, Lazini Ncube delivers ruling on their fraud case.

The two are due to appear before magistrate Lazini Ncube for ruling on allegations that they defrauded the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of $12,000.

Prosecutor Michael Reza told their trial that the duo billed ZPC each time the company’s name was mentioned on ZBC news bulletins.

This was after a public relations company the pair own was irregularly given the contract by former energy minister Samuel Undenge.

Undenge has since been convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment by over the same case.

Pambuka and Maziwisa deny the charges and insist that they did work for ZPC.

However, ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro told court that the company now realises the duo had no influence in the production of ZBC news programmes.

Other witnesses from the public broadcaster also told court that the two had no role in the production of news.

“The accused also did not deny submitting invoices and the question they should answer is what were they paid for,” said magistrate Ncube when he dismissed the duo’s application for discharge at the close of state.

Former ZBC editor in chief, Tazern Mandizvidza told court that there was no way the broadcaster would have charged ZPC for news articles.

“When we cover a ministry’s event, we call it a diary, or some may prefer to call it a national event and it is our mandate to cover such events as long as they are newsworthy,” he said.

ZBC bulletins manager, Moses Charedzera told court that Pambuka was only a presenter and would only read news bulletins prepared by producers.

Maziwisa and Pambuka allegedly duped ZPC using their public relations (PR) consultancy company Fruitful Communications.