FORMER Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi yesterday appeared at the High Court charged alongside City of Harare waste water manager and director for Harare Water together with some city councillors on allegations of abuse of office involving more than $32 million after they allegedly awarded tenders to companies that did not participate in the bidding process.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Mahachi is being charged together with Simon Takawira Muserere, Christopher Magwenzi Zvobgo, Misheck Mubvumbi, Masiye Kapare, Wilton Janjazi, Pauline Macharangwanda and Urayayi Mangwiro.
It is the State’s case that the accused, acting in connivance, allegedly showed favour to Energy Resources Africa Consortium (ERAC), an unregistered entity, in the awarding of a tender for the rehabilitation of the Firle Sewerage Digester and ancillary works valued at $13 816 117, without following Harare City Council tender procedures.
The State also alleges that during the period extending from July 2010 to April 2011, the accused, using the same modus operandi, corruptly awarded another tender for the rehabilitation of Firle and Crowborough sewage works to Sidal Engineering (Pvt) Ltd worth $18 million without going to tender.
The accused, who were represented by different legal practitioners, pleaded not guilty to the two counts and told High Court judge Justice Amie Tsanga in their defences that the awarding of the tender to ERAC t/a Portriver (Pvt) Ltd and Sidal Engineering (Pvt), for the rehabilitation of the Firle Sewage works was above board.
They said the tender given to ERAC was awarded to a consortium which included a natural person and registered company and this fact was well known to council.
“Further states that the selective tender processes employed in both counts were approved by council and are perfectly in line with the provisions of the Urban Councils Act and were occasioned by the emergency situation which had arisen,” they said.
“It is clear and self-evident that the State has lumped the accused persons together so that they can carry out a boxing tournament against each other and to potentially point a finger at one another.
“This is not fair and is not proper to either of the accused persons. Besides, the manner in which the State has lumped and drafted the charges has obviated the need and obligation on the State of clearly outlining in detail the specific omissions by each of the accused persons.”
The State is represented by Chris Mutangadura. The trial continues today.