Ex-ZBC boss further remanded

HARARE - Suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings chief executive Happison Muchechetere’s trial has been further deferred to November 12.

Muchechetere is being charged with contravening sections of the Procurement Act after purchasing an outside broadcasting van from China without going to tender.

The suspended ZBC boss will remain on remand pending determination of his application at the Constitutional Court.

He also had his bail conditions relaxed to reporting once every month at Banket Police Station and his passport has been temporarily released until October 17.

In his Constitutional Court application, his lawyer advocate Thabani Mpofu, argued that the charge should be withdrawn because it is defective and invalid since ZBC is not a procuring entity.

He said the matter ought to be referred to the Constitutional Court for a determination on the validity of the provision which Muchechetere is being charged under.

“The State actually concedes that by virtue of an Act of Parliament, the old (ZBC) corporation was disbanded,” Mpofu said.

“A charge that he did not follow tender proceedings is invalid.”

The State alleged that on January 18 last year, Muchechetere without going through a formal tender, entered into procurement agreement to buy an OB van with the China National Instruments Imports and Exports Corporation at a price of $1 050 000.

In the agreement, Muchechetere was representing ZBC as the accounting officer.

On June 28, Muchechetere concluded the purchase deal alone, which resulted in the Chinese firm issuing a commercial invoice.

The OB van was delivered on August 8.

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