Ex-Minister Mangoma, former ZESA bosses freed on $1000 bail

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER energy minister, Elton Mangoma was Tuesday freed on $1 000 bail by a Harare magistrate.

Mangoma was arrested and jointly charged with ex-Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) top executives, Joshua Chifamba and Tererai Lewis Mutasa.

The trio is answering to criminal abuse of office charges arising from alleged flouting of tender procedures.

They were Tuesday arraigned before Harare magistrate, Ruramai Chitumbura who ordered them to deposit the stated bail each, surrender their passports and to report once a week to the police, among other conditions.

The trio will be back in court on January 21.

According to the state, allegations against Mangoma arose in 2010 when he was the country’s energy minister.

Chifamba was ZESA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) while Mutasa was the managing director at the power generating parastatal.

Court heard that sometime in 2010, Choi Young Jin of Techpro Company Ltd of South Korea met Mangoma at his offices in Harare.

Mangoma and the company’s representatives allegedly entered into an agreement to venture in Technology Transfer Partnership for the manufacturing of switch gears.

Prosecutors allege that Mangoma then instructed Mutasa to liaise with Techpro Company with the view to establish a partnership.

Court heard Mutasa then wrote to the State Procurement Board (SPB) seeking advice on procedures to be followed in such partnerships.

Mutasa was purportedly advised to proceed in terms of Section 49 of the Repealed Procurement Regulations Act chapter 22.14.

He was also advised to seek assistance from State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (SERA) on how to proceed.

The court heard SERA advised Mutasa to prepare a memorandum which Mangoma was supposed to submit to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Commercialisation and Privatisation of Parastatals (IMCCPP) recommending the identification of a technical partner for the technological transfer through competitive bidding process.

Court heard Mutasa complied with the instructions being assisted by SERA up to a stage where business proposal memorandum and bid documents for tender were forwarded to Mangoma for recommendation and final approval by IMCCP.

It is further alleged that on receiving the business proposal and bid documents for tender, Chifamba and Mangoma connived to bypass the approval by IMCCPP and the competitive bidding process as a means of showing favour and making sure that Techpro company would automatically become the partner in the Technology Transfer agreement.

They then decided to apply the provisions of Section 48 of the Public Finance and Management Act Chapter 12.19 which requires the approval of Mangoma and the treasurer.

Acting in common purpose, says the state, the trio recommended the approval of Technology Transfer Agreement to Mangoma.

Court heard the ex-minister went on to approve it on October 24 2011 at Zesa Holdings head office but omitted the approval by treasury.

Pursuant to their plan, the state says, the approved document was given to Mutasa who then signed the agreement on behalf of Zesa enterprises on October 25 2011.

Zivanai Macharaga of the President’s special anti-corruption unit appeared for the state.

Chifamba is being represented by his lawyer Admire Rubaya while Mangoma is being represented by his attorney Tonderai Bhatasara.
Mutasa is being represented by G Madzoka.