Date set for Muchechetere's hearing

HARARE - The Constitutional Court (Con-Court) will hear suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive Happison Muchechetere’s appeal on May 27.

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

His argument is that the charge should fall away because it is defective and invalid since ZBC was not a procuring entity.

In submissions filed by Muchechetere’s lawyers, he objects to the charge he is facing as disclosing no 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,” his lawyer argued.

“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.

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

The State said as both a public entity and a designated procuring entity, ZBC is obliged to procure goods and services in line with Procurement Act and Regulations.

“By not going to tender, accused person contravened both the provisions of the principal Act and its regulations,” the State argued.

“It is also listed as such by the amendment to the Procurement Regulations.”

Allegations against Muchechetere arose after 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.

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

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