Former Energy minister Mavhaire fined for bunking court

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER Energy Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire has been fined RTGS$20 after a Harare Magistrate found him guilty of willingly defaulting on attending court.

Mavhaire is one of the key witnesses in a case in which former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chairperson, Stanely Kazhanje is accused of receiving RTGS$10 000 bribe from businessman, Wicknell Chivayo in order to push for a solar project contract between his company, Intratrek Zimbabwe and ZPC.

It was found on Friday that Mavhaire refused to receive summons served on him by the police officer who had travelled all the way from Harare to Masvingo to subpoena him.

Senior Regional Magistrate, Hosea Mujaya attacked the ex-minister for wasting the court’s time while trying to evade his offence.

“The police couldn’t have travelled all the way to Masvingo to do nothing. The accused desperately tried to parade confusion but ignorance is not defence.

“If anything, the lawyer was only successful in wasting court’s time by demanding that the police officer who went to serve his client be called,” said Mujaya before ordering Mavhaire to return to court on April 15 for trial continuation.

An officer with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) anti-corruption told court that Mavhaire refused to sign the summons arguing that the prosecutor handling the case only needed his statement.

Court heard the former Zanu PF loyalist also said Kazhanje wanted to use his name.

Kazhanje is denying allegations he is facing arguing he had no powers to influence the engagement of Intratrek Zimbabwe. The trial continues April 15.

Through his lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, Kazhanje said other board members would have picked his interests in Intratrek Zimbabwe if he had any since the board consisted of intellectuals with various professional and educational backgrounds

Kazhanje also argued that deliberations on engaging Intratrek Zimbabwe were done before he joined the board.

Former Deputy Energy Minister Munacho Mutezo, ZPC secretary and legal advisor Norah Tsomondo have so far testified.

They all distanced Kazhanje from the allegations he is facing.

Tsomondo on Thursday told court that the board led by Kazhanje was one of the best ever.

Brian Vhito prosecuted.