Maziwisa, Pambuka fraud case continues

HARARE - The trial of former Zanu PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa and television personality Oscar Pambuka will continue on September 18 with an inspection in loco at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Centre (ZBC) at Pockets Hill in Harare.

The inspection in loco by the courts is meant to establish whether Pambuka and Maziwisa charged the Zimbabwe Power Company for services they did not render as alleged by the ZBC bulletins manager Moses Charedzera.

At the last court hearing, Charedzera had denied commissioning or airing news items that Pambuka and Maziwisa charged ZPC $12 650 for.

The duo is answering to fraud charges before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube. They allegedly charged ZPC $12 650 for facilitating to have the State broadcaster air news items on the power utility’s behalf.

Charedzera yesterday told the court that he could not divulge the source where the information to prove that the ZPC material had not been aired as it was privileged information that belonged to the company and required a court order to access.

“Such privileged information would need an application court order,” Charedzera said.

Former Cabinet minister Samuel Undenge was recently sentenced to four years for authorising the ZPC to pay the pair’s Fruitful Communications Company for the consultancy job.

Charedzera told the court earlier that when the national broadcaster engages a public relations consultancy, a meeting is convened to agree on payment terms.

According to prosecutor Michael Reza, Pambuka and Maziwisa drafted invoices purporting that they had facilitated for ZBC to air programmes during news bulletins before requesting payment for it.

“I never knew of Fruitful Communications and only read about it in the media. In our records there is no news story of February 16, 2016 done for ZPC which was billed by the accused persons. The same applies for February 22 where an invoice was billed for a programme titled Media Watch, Kariba Water Levels,” Charedzera said earlier.

“No such programmes for the claims appearing on the invoices tendered by the accused persons were aired at all. It was improper for the accused persons to have made claims because this work would have been done by ZBC.”

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