State not ready for Muchechetere trial

HARARE - Suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) Group Chief Executive Officer Happison Muchechetere’s case has been postponed to May 15, after the State said it was not ready to proceed.

Muchechetere is facing fraud charges involving $800 000 and is currently out of custody after Harare magistrate Douglas Chikwekwe granted him $3 000 bail.

The former ZBC boss is also facing criminal abuse of duty as a public officer and contravening the Procurement Act.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira yesterday told Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe that the docket was not yet ready, thereby deferring the matter.

Allegations against Muchechetere arose in January last year when he entered into a procurement deal with a Chinese company to purchase an audio outside broadcasting van (OB van) for $1 050 000.

He allegedly entered into the agreement without going to tender.

Muchechetere allegedly misrepresented to the ZBC executive committee in May last year that the $495 000 donated by the BancABC was enough to purchase an audio van, a cargo van and a crew bus and the committee approved the purchase of the items using the said money.

The State alleges that prior to the meeting, Muchechetere did not disclose to the committee that he had already entered into a purchasing deal to the tune of $1 050 000 for only the radio OB van.

According to State papers, Muchechetere flew to China alone where he signed an agreement concerning the inspection of the van which was never carried out by other members of the executive committee.

The OB van was subsequently delivered to Zimbabwe in August last year after BancABC released another $100 000 to the Chinese company, the court heard.

The offence came to light after Muchechetere’s suspension in November last year.

After the suspension, it was discovered that the OB van had a market value of $350 000 contrary to the $1 050 000 that Muchechetere signed for.

According to State papers, he prejudiced the national broadcaster of $800 000.

Comments (1)

This is the end of the case. Most likely the poorly paid State Prosecutors got paid something and this case will die a natural death through delays and postponements.

Disaster - 12 April 2014

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