FRAUD: ZBC executive piles pressure on Pambuka and Maziwisa

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By Court Reporter

A ZIMBABWE Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) executive heaped pressure Tuesday on fraud accused former news reader Oscar Pambuka and Zanu PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa.

Pambuka and Maziwisa are on trial for allegedly swindling the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

The duo owns a company called Fruitful Communications through which they allegedly claimed payments of up to $12,000 for public relations (PR) work.

Prosecutors say no such activities were ever carried out by Maziwisa and Pambuka on behalf of ZPC although they got paid.

Appearing in court Tuesday as a witness for the State, ZBC bulletins manager, Moses Charedzera, said the public broadcaster never came to an arrangement with Fruitful Communications.

“As such it was unlawful for the two to claim any payment from ZPC because no shows were ever held by the accused,” he told Harare magistrate Estere Chivasa.

Maziwisa and Pambuka are said to have claimed payments from ZPC for public relations programmes supposedly broadcast by the ZBC.

Prosecutor Michael Reza said the two would request money each time ZPC’s name came up on radio or television, claiming to have influenced such references.

“It is impossible for someone to claim they have done a bulletin for ZBC and claim payment,” Charedzera added.

“If a PR firm wants to supply news for us, there is meeting with ZBC first to agree terms and whether they should be paid and what amount.

“There are no stories which were ever aired on (ZPC) power projects on the days indicated by the accused on their invoices.

“I don’t recall the two ever presenting any programme for Kariba power generation as they claim. There is also no record of any story in our bulletins from any outside source or the accused’s company.”

The case was postponed to August 7 for continuation of trial.

Maziwisa and Pambuka insist they did carry out PR work for ZPC.

It is their defence that they were paid for work carried out and did not defraud the power utility as claimed by the State.

They are being represented by Harare lawyer Jonathan Samukange.