A HARARE magistrate is today expected to hand his ruling on the application for discharge by television personality Oscar Pambuka and former Highfield MP Psychology Maziwisa (Zanu PF), who are facing charges of swindling the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of $12 650 in a botched public relations deal.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Maziwisa (34) and Pambuka (33) who pleaded not guilty to fraud charges before magistrate Lazini Ncube are being represented by Jonathan Samukange.
Maziwisa is the director of Fruitful Communications, while Pambuka is employed as a media executive.
Five witnesses have testified in the case, that include suspended ZBC boss Tazzen Mandizvidza, bulletins manager Moses Charedzera and former ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro, among others.
In his testimony, Charedzera distanced the broadcaster from the transactions, saying before a public relations consultancy is engaged, a meeting is convened to agree on terms of whether they should be paid.
Gwariro also told court that ZPC engaged Maziwisa and Pambuka under instruction from former Energy minister Samuel Undenge.
But the two are denying the charge, saying what they did was above board.
It is the State’s case that on February 12 last year, Fruitful Communications hosted a ZimAsset conference at Meikles Hotel, where Undenge was the guest of honour and ZBC covered the event.
The State alleges on March 8 last year, Pambuka and Maziwisa brought an invoice for $12 650 to ZPC and falsely claimed to have done campaigns, a Press conference on power projects in Kariba, Hwange and Batoka and to have paid ZBC for the services.
The duo allegedly using the same method brought an invoice to ZPC amounting to $36 000, but the power utility discovered that no work had been carried out and declined to pay.