Ex-ZBC boss seeks acquittal

HARARE - Suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBC) chief executive Happison Muchechetere is urging the courts to acquit him on allegations of contravening the Procurement Act because the charge is constitutionally invalid.

Harare magistrate Aidonia Masawi postponed ruling on the application for exception and validity of the law under which Muchechetere is being charged to July 23.

In submissions filed by Muchechetere’s lawyers Keith Kachambwa and Sylvester Hashiti, he objects to the charge, saying it does not disclose any offence recognisable at law.

“Should it be necessary, the accused person takes the point that the legislation under which he is charged is constitutionally invalid and no proceedings could depend therein,” he said.

“For what is believed to be the first time, this court must make a determination on the invalidity of legislation as set out in the new Constitution.”

He further argued that charges of contravening the Procurement Act should fall away because ZBC is not a procuring entity.

“The charge alleges that ZBC is a procuring entity and that the accused person is its accounting officer. That allegation is heretical as a matter of law as the corporation does not, as a matter of law, exist,” he said.

“Its disbanding was achieved in 2002 by the enactment of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialisation) Act which created two private limited companies. What exists therefore are companies limited by shares which are registered as private limited companies.”

Kachambwa further said: “The (Pvt) Ltd which exists and which employs the accused person is not listed in the second schedule to the procurement regulations and is by law not a procuring entity.”

The State alleges that on January 18 last year, Muchechetere, without going through a formal tender, entered into a procurement agreement to purchase an audio outside broadcasting van (OB van) from the China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation. The van was valued at $1 050 000.

In the agreement, Muchechetere represented ZBC as the accounting officer.
On June 28, he single-handedly  concluded the purchase deal.

The Chinese firm then issued a commercial invoice of $1 050 000 which resulted in the OB van being delivered on August 8 last year.

The offence was unearthed following a publication by the leading independent daily newspaper the Daily News on January 28 this year, which led the State Procurement Board to investigate the matter, leading to Muchechetere’s arrest.

Comments (3)

FOR SALE HP TONER CARTRIDGES 05A, 10A, 11A, 12A, 13A, 15A, 24A, 35A, 36A, 42A, 49A, 51A, 53A, 55A, 61A, 64A, 70A, 78A, 80A, 85A, 90A, AND MANYMORE 0772 678 311

GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 10 July 2014

FOR SALE HP TONER CARTRIDGES 05A, 10A, 11A, 12A, 13A, 15A, 24A, 35A, 36A, 42A, 49A, 51A, 53A, 55A, 61A, 64A, 70A, 78A, 80A, 85A, 90A, AND MANYMORE 0772 678 311

GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 10 July 2014

Last time we were made to believe that the van was 100 000 usd and Mr Muche had altered the invoice to 1 million usd. Now it is back again to 1 million usd which is which now.

mariyeti Mpala - 11 July 2014

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