Deputy chief secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Ray Ndhlukula was yesterday grilled and labelled a political harassment agent by former Energy minister Samuel Undenge’s lawyer for accepting to testify in a case he was unfamiliar with.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Ndhlukula, who confirmed before regional magistrate, Hosiah Mujaya that he is not privy to the contents of a letter that formed the basis of the allegations against Undenge, told the court that he had no evidence to show whether the former minister violated good corporate governance.
Undenge’s lawyer, Dumisani Mthombeni told Ndhlukula that his position was a political appointment and his testimony must be regarded as irrelevant, as he is trying to impress his appointing authority, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Your position in government is a political appointment and you serve at the mercy and discretion of the appointing authority who is the President of Zimbabwe?” Mthombeni said.
“So you are here to paint the political opponents of your appointing authority in bad light in order for you to keep your job?”
Ndhlukula said he was only in court to explain the process which was supposed to be followed when one is given a contract involving public funds.
Mthombeni told court that Ndhlukula should have established the background of the allegations when Zimbabwe Power Company went into formal agreement with Oscar Pambuka and Psychology Maziwisa in November 2015 after implicating the then Vice-President and now President Mnangagwa, without Undenge’s knowledge.
Ndhlukula said that even though ZPC officials received a letter advising them to award the tender, they erred by giving Fruitful Communications a contract without going to tender.
Allegations are that Undenge fraudulently awarded a public relations company, Fruitful Communications a contract without going to tender and in the process prejudiced the State of $12 650 in 2016. Fruitful Communications is run by legislator Psychology Maziwisa and Oscar Pambuka. The trial will continue on June 6.
Jonathan Murombedzi and Oscar Madhume appeared for the State.