Maziwisa-Pambuka fraud trial: Court to inspect ZBC

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By Mary Taruvinga

A HARARE magistrate is due to inspect the state-owned broadcaster ZBC in the ongoing fraud trial of an ex-employee Oscar Pambuka and former Zanu PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa.

The inspection is scheduled for September 18.

Maziwisa and Pambuka jointly own a company called Fruitful Communications through which they are charged with defrauding the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).

Prosecutors say thy misrepresented that they had been authorised by former president Robert Mugabe to carry out public relations work on behalf of ZPC.

The State claims that no such work was ever carried out although Maziwisa and Pambuka were paid $12,000.

However, the two deny the allegations and insist that they performed some work for the power utility.

They successfully applied for an inspection to be conducted at ZBC, arguing that ZPC did not dispute that they indeed carried out work.

But ZBC bulletins manager Moses Charedzera said the two never carried out any radio or television project for ZPC.

Giving his testimony before Harare magistrate Estere Chivasa, recently Charedzera ZBC never went into an agreement to broadcast ZIM-ASSET programmes for ZPC with the 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 said.

According to Charedzera, their records indicates that other projects which had nothing to do with ZPC, energy or ZIMASSET were aired on days in question.

Prosecutor Michael Reza claims the two would request for money each time ZPC name was mentioned on radio or television saying they influenced publication.

Former Energy minister who reportedly facilitated the contract award has since been convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment over the case.

He is challenging both the conviction and sentence.