ZPC boss exonerates bribery accused company ex-chairperson

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE State’s case against former Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) board chairperson, Stanley Kazhanje could be weakening as witnesses have failed to incriminate him during his ongoing trial.

Kazhanje stands accused of receiving $10 000 bribe from controversial businessman, Wicknell Chivayo to avoid cancellation of a solar project contract between his Intratrek Zimbabwe company and ZPC.

The State alleges that Kazhanje sat in meetings where deliberations about the projects were made knowing that he was an interested party but did not disclose that as prescribed by the law. State claims he went on to receive the alleged bribe under unclear circumstances.

The company secretary and legal advisor Norah Tsitsi Tsomondo told court she was not aware Kazhanje had conflicting interests in the Intratrek Zimbabwe project.

“I only read about it in the media. The accused only disclosed that he was a director at Terminal Engineering but did not do so in the subsequent meetings where the Gwanda Solar project was on the agenda.

“I am not aware of his interests in Intratrek Zimbabwe. At all times he would annually declare his directorship at Terminal Engineering.

“A register is circulated before the commencement of meetings to indicate whether board members are conflicted in any of the items on the agenda. He never signed. Kazhanje never moved a motion suggesting that the board shows favour to Intratrek Zimbabwe,” said Tsomondo.

Tsomondo also testified saying that the awarding of the Gwanda solar project was done above board.

She told court that the State Procurement Board (SPB), ZPC management and its parent company, Zesa Holdings were satisfied with Intratrek Zimbabwe.

Tsomondo also told court that even external evaluators were satisfied with the Kazhanje led board which they regarded as “very risk conscious.”

The court heard that the external evaluators applauded Kazhanje as “astute, committed, providing constructive contributions and providing focused and unbiased leadership.”

“ZPC and Zesa Holdings were never dissatisfied with his performance, hence he finished his term when he was retired in June 2018.

“All board resolutions made following the awarding of the tender ensured that ZPC is protected from risks. It was the board that insisted that management safeguards the interests of the company,” she said.

When trial commenced, former Energy deputy minister, Munacho Mutezo also said nothing incriminating Kazhanje.

He told court he was aware Kazhanje was a consultant but did not know any of his clients.

The matter was rolled over to April 15 for continuation of trial.